MATH
STAT.
LIBRARY
HIGHER GEOMETRY
AN INTRODUCTION TO ADVANCED METHODS
IN ANALYTIC GEOMETRY; ;, . ..:
BY
FREDERICK S. WOODS
PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICS IN THE MASSACHUSETTS
INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
GINN AND COMPANY
BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO LONDON
ATLANTA DALLAS COLUMBUS SAN FRANCISCO
COPYRIGHT, 1922, BY FREDERICK S. WOODS
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
322.10
G1NN AND COMPANY PRO
PRIETORS BOSTON U.S.A.
PREFACE
The present book is the outgrowth of lectures given at various
times to students of the later undergraduate and earlier graduate
years. It aims to present some of the general concepts and methods
which are necessary for advanced work in algebraic geometry (as
distinguished from differential geometry), but which are not now
accessible to the student in any one volume, and thus to bridge
the gap between the usual text in analytic geometry and treatises
or articles on special topics.
With this object in view the author has assumed very little
mathematical preparation on the part of the student beyond that
acquired in elementary courses in calculus and plane analytic geom
etry. In addition it has been necessary to assume a slight knowl
edge of determinants, especially as applied to the solution of linear
equations, such as may be acquired in a very short course on the sub
ject. But it has not been assumed that the student has had a course
in higher algebra, including matrices, linear substitutions, invariants,
and similar topics, and no effort has been made to include a dis
cussion of these subjects in the text. This restriction in the tools
to be used necessitates at times modes of expression and methods
of proof which are a little cumbersome, but the appeal to a larger
number of readers seems to justify the occasional lack of elegance.
In preparing the text one of the greatest problems has consisted
in determining what matters to exclude. It is obvious that an
introduction to geometry cannot contain all that is known on any
subject or even refer briefly to all general topics. The matter of
selection is necessarily one of individual judgment. One large
domain of geometry has been definitely excluded from the plan of
the book ; namely, that of differential geometry. In the field which
is left the author cannot dare to hope that his choice of material
will agree exactly with that which would be made by any other
teacher. He hopes, however, that his choice has been sufficiently
wise to make the book useful to many besides himself.
iii
49H385
iv PREFACE
The plan of the book calls for a study of different coordinate
systems, based upon various geometric elements and classified
according to the number of dimensions involved. This leads natu
rally to a final discussion of ^dimensional geometry in an abstract
sense, of which the particular geometries studied earlier form con
crete illustrations. As each system of coordinates is introduced, the
meaning of the linear and the quadratic equations is studied. The
student is thus primarily drilled in the interpretation of equations,
but acquires at the same time a knowledge of useful geometric facts.
The principle of duality is constantly in view, and the nature of
imaginary elements and the conventional character of the locus at
infinity, dependent upon the type of coordinates used, are carefully
explained.
Numerous exercises for the student have been introduced. In
some cases these carry a little farther the discussion of the text,
but care has been taken to keep their difficulty within the range
of the student s ability. FREDERICK S. WOODS
CONTENTS
PART I. GENERAL CONCEPTS AND ONEDIMENSIONAL
GEOMETRY
CHAPTER I. GENERAL CONCEPTS
SECTION PAGE
1. Coordinates 1
2. The principle of duality 2
3. The use of imaginaries 2
4. Infinity 3
5. Transformations 4
6. Groups 6
CHAPTER II. RANGES AND PENCILS
7. Cartesian coordinate of a point on a line 8
8. Projective coordinate of a point on a line 8
9. Change of coordinates i 9
10. Coordinate of a line of a pencil 11
11. Coordinate of a plane of a pencil 12
CHAPTER III. PROJECTIVITY
12. The linear transformation 13
13. The cross ratio 16
14. Harmonic sets 18
15. Projection 20
16. Perspective figures 21
17. Other onedimensional extents 23
PART II. TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
CHAPTER IV. POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE
18. Homogeneous Cartesian point coordinates 27
19. The straight line 27
20. The circle points at infinity 30
21. The conic 32
22. Trilinear point coordinates 34
23. Points on a line 35
v
vi CONTENTS
SECTION PAGE
24. The linear equation in point coordinates 36
25. Lines of a pencil 37
26. Line coordinates in a plane 38
27. Pencil of lines and the linear equation in line coordinates ... 39
28. Dualistic relations 40
29. Change of coordinates 41
30. Certain straightline configurations 44
31. Curves in point coordinates 50
32. Curves in line coordinates 53
CHAPTER V. CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS
33. Singular points of a curve of second order 58
34. Poles and polars with respect to a curve of second order .... 59
35. Classification of curves of second order 65
36. Singular lines of a curve of second class 67
37. Classification of curves of second class 68
38. Poles and polars with respect to a curve of second class .... 70
39. Projective properties of conies 72
CHAPTER VI. LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
40. Collineations 78
41. Types of nonsingular collineations 83
42. Correlations 88
43. Pairs of conies 95
44. The projective group 100
45. The metrical group 101
46. Angle and the circle points at infinity 105
CHAPTER VII. PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT
47. General principles 107
48. The hyperbolic case ; 110
49. The elliptic case 115
50. The parabolic case 117
CHAPTER VIII. CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE
51. Pointpoint transformations 120
52. Quadric inversion 121
53. Inversion 124
54. Pointcurve transformations 127
55. The pedal transformation 131
56. The line element . 133
CONTENTS vii
CHAPTER IX. TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES
SECTION PAGE
57. Special tetracyclical coordinates 138
58. Distance between two points , .. .. 139
59. The circle 140
60. Relation between tetracyclical and Cartesian coordinates .... 142
61. Orthogonal circles 144
62. Pencils of circles 146
63. The general tetracyclical coordinates ; 150
64. Orthogonal coordinates . v . . . 153
65. The linear transformation ; . . . 154
66. The metrical transformation ........ 155
67. Inversion . 156
68. The linear group 159
69. Duals of tetracyclical coordinates 161
CHAPTER X. A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF COORDINATES
70. The coordinate system 164
71. The straight line and the equilateral hyperbola 166
72. The bilinear equation : . . . 167
73. The bilinear transformation . 169
PAET III. THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
CHAPTER XI. CIRCLE COORDINATES
74. Elementary circle coordinates . 171
75. The quadratic circle complex 173
76. Higher circle coordinates 177
CHAPTER XII. POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES [
77. Cartesian point coordinates 180
78. Distance 181
79. The straight line 182
80. The plane 185
81. Direction and angle ....... 188
82. Quadriplanar point coordinates 193
83. Straight line and plane 194
84. Plane coordinates 197
85. Onedimensional extents of points 200
86. Locus of. an equation in point coordinates 205
87. Onedimensional extents of planes .. 210
88. Locus of an equation in plane coordinates . . **
89. Change of coordinates . ..... . ^
viii CONTENTS
CHAPTEE XIII. SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND OF
SECOND CLASS
SECTION PAGE
90. Surfaces of second order 220
91. Singular points 221
92. Poles and polars 222
93. Classification of surfaces of second order 224
94. Surfaces of second order in Cartesian coordinates 227
95. Surfaces of second order referred to rectangular axes 229
96. Rulings on surfaces of second order 232
97. Surfaces of second class 235
98. Poles and polars 238
99. Classification of surfaces of the second class . . 238
CHAPTER XIV. TRANSFORMATIONS
100. Collineations 240
101. Types of nonsingular collineations 241
102. Correlations 246
103. The projective and the metrical groups 249
104. Projective geometry on a quadric surface 250
105. Projective measurement 253
106. Clifford parallels 255
107. Contact transformations 258
108. Pointpoint transformations * 260
109. Pointsurface transformations 262
110. Pointcurve transformations . . 263
CHAPTER XV. THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES
111. Pencils of spheres 266
112. Bundles of spheres 268
113. Complexes of spheres 269
114. Inversion 270
115. Dupin s cyclide 274
116. Cyclides 279
CHAPTER XVI. PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES
117. Specialized coordinates 282
118. The sphere 284
119. Angle between spheres 286
120. The power of a point with respect to a sphere 287
121. General orthogonal coordinates 288
CONTENTS ix
SECTION PAGE
122. The linear transformation 291
123. Relation between pentaspherical and Cartesian coordinates . . 293
124. Pencils, bundles, and complexes of spheres 293
125. Tangent circles and spheres 295
126. Cyclides in pentaspherical coordinates 297
PART IV. GEOMETRY OF FOUR AND HIGHER
DIMENSIONS
CHAPTER XVII. LINE COORDINATES IN THREE
DIMENSIONAL SPACE
127. The Plticker coordinates ". 301
128. Dualistic definition 303
129. Intersecting lines 304
130. General line coordinates 305
131. Pencils and bundles of lines 306
132. Complexes, congruences, series 308
133. The linear line complex 310
134. Conjugate lines 314
135. Complexes in point coordinates 316
136. Complexes in Cartesian coordinates 317
137. The bilinear equation in point coordinates 321
138. The linear line congruence 322
139. The cylindroid 323
140. The linear line series 324
141. The quadratic line complex 328
142. Singular surface of the quadratic complex 331
143. Pliicker s complex surfaces 334
144. The (2, 2) congruence 335
145. Line congruences in general 336
CHAPTER XVIII. SPHERE COORDINATES
146. Elementary sphere coordinates 341
147. Higher sphere coordinates 343
148. Angle between spheres 344
149. The linear complex of oriented spheres 346
150. Linear congruence of oriented spheres 348
151. Linear series of oriented spheres 349
152. Pencils and bundles of tangent spheres 350
153. Quadratic complex of oriented spheres 353
154. Duality of line and sphere geometry 357
x CONTENTS
CHAPTER XIX. FOURDIMENSIONAL POINT COORDINATES
SECTION PAGE
155. Definitions 362
156. Intersections 365
157. Euclidean space of four dimensions 368
158. Parallelism 370
159. Perpendicularity 373
160. Minimum lines, planes, and hyperplanes 378
161. Hypersurfaces of second order 382
162. Duality between line geometry in three dimensions and point
geometry in four dimensions 384
CHAPTER XX. GEOMETRY OF N DIMENSIONS
163. Projective space 388
164. Intersection of linear spaces 390
165. The quadratic hypersurface 392
166. Intersection of a quadric by hyperplanes 396
167. Linear spaces on a quadric 401
168. Stereographic projection of a quadric in S n upon S n _ l . . . . 407
169. Application to line geometry 410
170. Metrical space of n dimensions 413
171. Minimum projection of S n upon S n _ 1 419
INDEX 421
HIGHER GEOMETRY
PAET I. GENERAL CONCEPTS AND
ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
11 >
CHAPTER I
GENERAL CONCEPTS
1. Coordinates. A set of n variables, the values of which fix a
geometric object, are called the coordinates of the object. The ana
lytic geometry which is developed by the use of these coordinates
has as its element the object fixed by the coordinates. The reader
is familiar with the use of coordinates to fix a point either in the
plane or in space. The point is the element of elementary ana
lytic geometry, and all figures are studied as made up of points.
There is, however, no theoretical objection to using any geometric
figure as the element of a geometry. In the following pages we
shall discuss, among other possibilities, the use of the straight line,
the plane, the circle, and the sphere. /
The dimensions of a system of geometry are determined by the
number of the coordinates necessary to fix the element. Thus
the geometry in which the element is either the point in the plane
or the straight line in the plane is twodimensional ; the geometry
in which the element is the point in space, the circle in the plane,
or the plane in space is threedimensional ; the geometry in which
the element is the straight line or the sphere in space is four
dimensional.
Since each coordinate may take an infinite number of values,
the fact that a geometry has n dimensions is often indicated by
saying that the totality of elements form an GO" extent. Thus the
points in space form an co 3 extent, while the straight lines in
space form an cc 4 extent. If in an oo n extent the coordinates of an
element are connected by k independent conditions, the elements
1
2 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
satisfying the conditions form an <x> n ~ k extent lying in the oo w
extent. Thus a single equation between the coordinates of a point
in space defines an co 2 extent (a surface) lying in an oo 3 extent
(space), and two equations between the coordinates of a point in
space define an oo 1 extent (a curve).
2. The principle of duality. When the element has been selected
and its coordinates determined, the development of the geometry
consists m" studying the meaning of equations and relations con
in^ the coord mates. There are therefore two distinct parts to
geometry, the analytic work and the geometric interpreta
tion. Two systems of geometry depending upon different elements
with the same number of coordinates will have the same analytic
expression and will differ only in the interpretation of the analy
sis. In such a case it is often sufficient to know the meaning of
the coordinates and the interpretation of a few fundamental rela
tions in each system in order to find for a theorem in one geom
etry a corresponding theorem in the other. Two systems which
have such a relation to each other are said to be dualistic, or to
correspond to each other by the principle of duality.
It is obviously inconvenient to give examples of this principle
at this time, but the reader will find numerous examples in the
pages of this book.
3. The use of imaginaries. Between the coordinates of a geo
metric element and the element, itself there fails to be perfect equiv
alence unless the concept of an imaginary element is introduced.
Consider, for example, the usual Cartesian coordinates (z, y) of a
point in a plane. If we understand by a " real point " one which has
a position on the plane which may be represented by a pencil dot,
then to any real pair of values of x and y corresponds a real point,
and conversely. It is highly inconvenient, however, to limit our
selves in the analytic work to real values of the variables. We
accordingly introduce the convention of an " imaginary point " by
saying that a pair of values of x and y of which one or both is a
complex quantity defines such a point. In this sense a " point "
is nothing more than a concise expression for " a value pair (#, ^)."
From this standpoint many propositions of analytic geometry
are partly theorems and partly definitions. For example, take the
proposition that any equation of the first degree represents a straight
GENERAL CONCEPTS 3
line. This is a theorem as far as real points and real lines are
concerned, but it is a definition for imaginary points satisfying an
equation with real coefficients and for all points satisfying an equa
tion with complex coefficients. The definition in question is that
a straight line is the totality of all value pairs (x, y) which satisfy
any linear equation.
Any proposition proved for real figures may be extended to imag
inary figures provided that t;he proof is purely an analytic one
which is independent of the reality of the quantities involved.
One cannot, however, extend theorems which are not analytic in
their nature. For example, it is proved for a real triangle that the
length of any side is less than the sum of the lengths of the
other two sides. The length of the side connecting the vertices
(x^yj and (o? 2 , ?/ 2 ) is V(^~ a^ +C^ # 2 ) 2 . We may extend
this definition of length to imaginary points, but the theorem con
cerning the sides of a triangle cannot be proved analytically and
is not true for imaginaries, as may be seen by testing it for the
triangle whose vertices are (0, 0), (i, 1), and (i, 1).
Similar considerations to those we have just stated for a point
in a plane apply to any element. It is usual to have a real element
represented by real coordinates, but sometimes it is found con
venient to represent a real element by complex coordinates. In
either case there will be found in the analysis certain combinations
of coordinates which cannot represent real elements. In all cases
the geometry is extended by the convention that such coordinates
represent imaginary elements.
4. Infinity. Infinity may occur in a system of geometry in two
ways : first, the value of one or more of the coordinates may increase
without limit, or secondly, the element which we suppose lying
within the range of action of our physical senses may be so displaced
that its distance from its original position increases without limit.
Infinity in the first sense may be avoided by writing the coor
dinates in the form of ratios, for a ratio increases without limit when
its denominator approaches zero. Coordinates thus written are called
homogeneous coordinates, because equations written in them become
homogeneous. They are of constant use in this book.
The treatment of infinity in the second sense is not so simple,
but proceeds as follows: As an element of the geometry recedes
4 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
indefinitely from its original position, its coordinates usually
approach certain limiting values, which are said by definition to
represent an " element at infinity." The coordinates of all ele
ments at infinity usually satisfy a certain equation, which is said
to represent the " locus at infinity." The nature of this locus
depends upon the coordinate system. Thus, in the plane, by the
use of one system of coordinates all " points at infinity " are said
to lie on a " straight line at infinity " ; by another system of coor
dinates the plane is said to have " a single real point at infinity " ;
by still another system of coordinates the plane is said to have
" two lines at infinity." These various statements are not contra
dictory, since they are not intended to express any fact about the
physical properties of the plane. They are simply conventions to
express the way in which the coordinate system may be applied
to infinitely remote elements. There is no more difficulty in pass
ing from one convention to another than there is in passing
from one coordinate system to another. The convention as to
elements at infinity stands on the same basis as the convention as
to imaginary elements.
5. Transformations. A transformation is an operation by which
each element of a geometry is replaced by another element. The
new element may be of the same kind as the original element or
of a different kind. For example, a rotation of a plane about a
fixed point is a transformation of points into points ; on the other
hand, a transformation may be made in the plane by which each
point of the plane is replaced by its polar line with respect to a
fixed conic. We shall consider in this book mainly analytic trans
formations^ that is, those in which the coordinates of the trans
formed element are analytic functions of those of the original
element.
A transformation may be conveniently expressed by a single
symbol, such as T. If we wish to express the fact that an element,
or a configuration of elements, a, has been transformed into another
element or configuration &, we write
T() = 6. (1)
Suppose now, having carried out the transformation T, we carry
out on the transformed elements another transformation S. The
GENERAL CONCEPTS 5
result is a single transformation G 9 and we write
G = ST, (2)
where G is called the product of S and T.
Similarly, the carrying out in succession of the transformation
T, then S, and then R, is the product RST. This symbol is to be
interpreted as meaning that the transformations are to be carried
out in order from right to left. This is important, as the product
of transformations is not necessarily commutative. For example, let
T be the moving of a point through a fixed distance in a fixed
direction and S the replacing of a point by its symmetrical point
with respect to a fixed plane. It is evident in this case that
ST^TS. (3)
A product of transformations is, however, associative. To prove this,
let R, S, and T be three transformations. We wish to show that
(fiS)T=(ST) = fiST. (4)
In the sense of formula (1) let
Then (72S) T(a) = S(b) *=R(c) = d.
On the other hand, ST(a) = S(b)= c,
so that R(ST) (a) = JK (<?) = &
This establishes the theorem.
If T represents an operation, T~ l shall represent the inverse
operation ; that is, if T transforms any element a into an element
b, T~* shall transform every element b back into the original a.
The product then of T and T~ l in any order leaves all elements
unchanged. It is natural to call an operation which leaves all ele
ments unchanged an identical transformation and to indicate it by
the symbol 1. We have then the equation
TT l = T~ l T = l. (5)
If S and T are two transformations, the operation
TST~ l = S (6)
is called the transform of S by T.
If S[ and $2 are the transforms of S 1 and S. 2 respectivelj^fneii
S[S^ is the transform of S^ For ^
. T~\
6 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. State which of the following pairs of operations are commutative :
(a) a translation and a rotation about a fixed point ; ^
() two rotations ; ^"
(c) two translations ;
(d) a rotation and a reflection on a line. "^ "
2. If S is a transformation such that S 2 = 1, prove that S~ l S, and
conversely. Give geometric examples of transformations of this type.
3. Prove that the reciprocal of the product of two transformations is
the product of the reciprocals of the transformations in inverse order ;
that is, prove that (RST)~ l = T l S~ l R\
4. If S is a rotation in a plane and T a translation, find the trans
form of S by T and the transform of T by S.
5. Prove that the transform of the inverse of S is the inverse of the
transform of S.
6. If the product of two transformations is commutative, show that
each is its own transform by the other.
6. Groups. A set of transformations form a group if the set contains
the inverse of every transformation of the set and if the product of any
two transformations of the set^is also a transformation of the set/^fy.&
In general the definition of a group of operations involves also
the conditions that the operations shall be associative and that the
identical transformation shall be defined. These latter conditions
being always true for geometrical transformations need not be
specified in our definition nor explicitly looked for in determining
whether or not a given set of transformations form a group.
As an example of a group consider the operations consisting of
rotating the points in space around a fixed axis through any angle
equal to any multiple of   Another example consists of all
possible rotations around the same axis.
A set of operations forming a group and contained in a larger
group form a subgroup of the larger group. For example, the rota
tions about a fixed axis through multiples of  form a subgroup
5
of all rotations about the same axis. Again, all mechanical motions
in space form a group. All translations form a subgroup of the
GENERAL CONCEPTS 7
group of mechanical motions. All translations in a fixed direction
form a subgroup of the group of translations and hence a sub
subgroup of the group of motions. ,
The importance of the concept of group Jin geometry lies in the
fact that it furnishes a means of classifying different systems of
geometry. The element of the geometry having been chosen, any
group of transformations may be tal^en, and the properties of
geometric figures may be studied which are unaltered by all trans
formations of the group. Thus tke ordinary geometry of space
considers the properties of figure> which are unaltered by the group
of mechanical movements. f
Any property or configuration which is unaltered by the opera
tions of a group is called an invariant of the group. Thus distance
is an invariant of the group of mechanical motions, and a circle is
an invariant with respect to the group of rotations in the plane
of the circle about the center of the circle.
EXERCISES
1. If x is the distance of a point P on a straight line from a fixed
point 0, and P is transformed into a new point P such that x = ax 4 6,
prove that the set of transformations formed by giving to a and b all
possible values form a group.
2. If (a;, y) are Cartesian coordinates in a plane, and a transformation
is expressed by the equations
x = x cos a y sin a,
y = x sin a j y cos a,
prove that the transformations obtained by giving a all possible values
form a group.
3. If (x, y) are Cartesian coordinates in a plane, prove that the
transformations defined by the equations
x = x cos a + y sin a,
y = x sin a y cos a,
do not form a group.
4. Name some subgroups of the groups in Exs. 12.
5. Let G be a given group and G l a subgroup. If every transforma
tion of G l is replaced by its transform by T, where T belongs to G, show
that the transformations thus found form a subgroup of G.
\
CHAPTER II
RANGES AND PENCILS
7. Cartesian coordinate of a point on a line. Consider all points
which lie on a line LK (Fig. ). These points are called a pencil
or a range, and the line LK is called the axis or the base of the
range. Any point P on LK may A o B p
be fixed most simply by means of L ~ " ~* ^
its distance OP from a fixed origin
0, the distance being reckoned positive or negative according as P
lies on one side or another of 0. We may accordingly place
x=OP (1)
and call x the coordinate * of P. To any point P corresponds one
and only one real coordinate x, and to any real x corresponds
one and only one real point P. Complex values of x are said, as
in 3, to define imaginary points on LK.
The coordinate may be made homogeneous (4) by using
the ratio x : t, where  = OP. As P recedes indefinitely from 0, t
t
approaches the value 0. Hence, as in 4, we make the convention
that the line has one point at infinity with the coordinate 1 : 0.
When the nonhomogeneous x of (1) is used, the point at infinity
has the coordinate oo.
The coordinate x we call the Cartesian coordinate of P because
of its familiar use in Cartesian geometry.
8. Projective coordinate of a point on a line. On the straight
line LK (Fig. 1) assume two fixed points of reference A and B
and two constants k l and & 2 . Then if P is any point on LK we
may take as the coordinate of P the ratio x l : a? 2 , where
x^.x^k^AP.k^BP, (1)
* The word " coordinate " may be objected to on the ground that it implies the
existence of at least two quantities which are coordinated in the usual sense. In
spite of this objection we retain the word to emphasize the fact that we have here
the simplest case of coordinates in an ndimensional geometry.
8
RANGES AND PENCILS 9
in which the distances AP and BP are positive or negative accord
ing as P is on the one side or the other of A or B respectively.
It is evident that the correspondence between real points on LK
and real values of the ratio x l : # 2 is one to one. Complex values
of the ratio define imaginary points on LK (3).
The Cartesian coordinate of the preceding article may be con
sidered as a special or limiting case of the kind just given. For if
in (1) we place Jc 1 = 1, allow the point B to recede to infinity,
and at the same time allow & 2 to approach zero in such a manner
that the limit of & 2 BP remains finite, equations (1) give the
homogeneous Cartesian coordinates of P.
Considering (1), we see that as P recedes indefinitely from A
and B the ratio x l : % 2 approaches the limiting ratio Jc 1 : & 2 . Hence
we say that the line has one point at infinity.
It is to be noticed that the ratio (which alone is essential) of
the constants k l and & 2 is determined by the coordinate of any one
point. Since this ratio is arbitrary the coordinate of any point may
be assumed arbitrarily after the points of reference are fixed.
In particular any point may be given the coordinate 1:1. This
point we shall call the unit point. The coordinate of A is : 1 and
that of B is 1 : 0. Since the unit point and the points of reference
are arbitrary, it follows that in setting up the coordinate system any
three points may be given the coordinates 0:1, 1:0, and 1 : 1 respec
tively, and the coordinate system is fully determined by these points.
The coordinate of this section we shall call the projective
coordinate of P because of its use in projective geometry.
EXERCISES
1. Establish a coordinate system on a straight line so that the point B
is 5 inches to the right of A and the unit point 1 inch to the right of A.
Where is the coordinate negative ?
2. Take the point B as in Ex. 1 and the unit point 1 inch to the
right of B. What are the coordinates of points respectively 1, 2, 3,
4 inches to. the right of A and 1, 2, 3 inches to the left of A ?
9. Change of coordinates. The most general change from one sys
tem of projective coordinates to another may be made by changing
the points of reference and the unit point, the latter change being
equivalent to changing the ratio of the constants ^ and & 2 . Let
10 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
x l : x 2 be the coordinate of any point P (Fig. 2) referred to the
points of reference A and B, with certain constants k l and & 2 , and
let x( : x be the coordinate of the same
A R ~P
point referred to the points of reference J  J  g    
A and 5 , with constants k( and & 2 .
b IG. 2
Assume any point and let OA= a,
OA = a 1 , OB = b, OB = V, and OP = t. Then from (1), 8, we have
x, : x,=k^t  a) : h(t  ft), a{ : a =^(  ) : V 2 (tV). (1)
The. elimination of from these equations gives relations of the
form = ^
which are the required formulas for he change of coordinates.
The ratio of the coefficients a^ a , yS t , and /3 2 will be determined
if we know three values of x l : x 2 which correspond to three values
of x( : #2, in particular to the three values 0:1, 1:0, 1:1. For
when x( : x 2 = : 1 we have x^ : x 2 = a t2 : /3 2 ; when x[:x r z = l:Q we have
x t : x 2 = a l : f$ l ; and when x\ : x 2 =1 : 1 we have x l : x 2 = a 1 + a. 2 : ft l 4 /3 2 .
It is obvio.us from the foregoing that if the reference points A
and B are distinct, the coefficients in (2) must satisfy the condition
afi^ #2/3^ 0, which is also necessary in order that the ratio x l : x^
in equations (2) should contain x[ : x 2 .
Equations (2) may be placed in a form which is of frequent use.
Let us place x[:x z = X, a 1= = ^, 1= z 2 , a 2 = y^ /8 2 = y# where y l : y^
and z 1 : z z are the coordinates of the two points corresponding to
X = and X = oo respectively. Then equations (2) become
^= yi +H,
p^=%+H
Hence, if y 1 : y 2 and z 1 : z 2 are the coordinates of any two points on
a straight line, the coordinate of any other point may be written
2/i+ x v# 2 +H
EXERCISES
1. Find the formulas for the change from the coordinate in Ex. 1, 8,
to that in Ex. 2.
2. Find the formulas for a change from the coordinate in Ex. 1, 8,
to one in which the reference points are respectively 2 and 6 inches
from A and the unit point 4 units from A.
3. Prove that all changes of coordinates form a group.
RANGES AND PENCILS 11
10. Coordinate of a line of a pencil. Consider all straight lines
which lie in a plane and pass through the same point (Fig. 3).
Such lines form a pencil, the common point being called the vertex
of the pencil.
Let OM be a fixed line in the pencil, OP any line, and 6 the angle
MOP. Then it would be possible to take 6 as the coordinate of OP,
but in that case the line OP would
have an infinite number of coordi
nates differing by multiples of 2 TT.
We may make the relation between
a line and its coordinate one to one
by taking as the coordinate a quan
tity x defined by the equation
x = k tan 0, (1)
where k is an arbitrary constant.
Then x = is the line OM, x = oo is FIG
the line at right angles to OM, and
any positive or negative real value of x corresponds to one and
only one real line of the pencil, and conversely. Imaginary values
of x define imaginary lines of the pencil as in 3.
A more general coordinate may be obtained by using two fixed
lines of reference OA and OB and defining the ratio x l : x 2 by the
equation ^ . x ^ = ^ s i n AOP:\ sin BOP. (2)
Equation (2) reduces to equation (1) when the angle AOB is a
right angle, OA coincides with OM, and x l : x 2 = x.
In general let the angle MO A = a and the angle MOB = ft. Then
(2) may be written
Xl : x z = ^ sin (0  a) : & 2 sin (0  /3)
= Ic^x cos a k sin #) : k 2 (x cos ft Jc sin /:?), (3)
when x is defined by (1).
Now let x( : x 2 be another coordinate of the lines of the pencil of
the same form as in equation (2), but referred to lines of reference
OA and OB and with constants k[ and k f f Then x{ : x 2 is connected
with x l : x 2 by a bilinear relation of the form
,
12
ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
This follows from the fact that both x : z. 2 and x( : x 2 are con
nected with x by a relation of the form (3).
Since a transformation of coordinates is effected either by change
of the liffelTbf reference or by change of the constants ^ and & 2 , it
follows that any transformation of coordinates is expressed by a
relation of form (4). The coefficients of the transformation are
determined when the values of x l : x 2 are known which correspond
to three values of x[ : Xy The proof is as in 9. Also, as in 9, it
may be shown that if ^ : y z
z 2 are "the coordinates of any
two lines of a pencil, the coordinate of any line may be written
(5)
11. Coordinate of a plane of a pencil. Consider all planes which
pass through the same straight line (Fig. 4). Such planes form a
pencil or sheaf, and the straight line is called the axis of the pencil.
The coordinate of a plane of the sheaf may be
obtained by first assuming two planes of refer
ence a and b and a fixed constant k. Then, if p
is any plane of the pencil and (a, jt?) means the
angle between a and p, we may define the coordi
nate of p as the ratio x 1 : x z given by the equations
x i : x * = \ sin ( a P) :
sn
FIG. 4
It is obvious that if a plane m be passed per
pendicular to the axis of the pencil, the planes of
the pencil cut out a pencil of lines in the plane m.
The angle between two lines of this pencil is the
plane angle of the two planes in which the two lines lie. Hence
the coordinate x l : x 2 defined in (1) is also the coordinate of the
lines of the pencil in the plane m, in the sense of 10. The results
of 10 with reference to transformation of coordinates hold, there
fore, for a pencil of planes. In particular, if y l : # 2 and z l : z 2 are
the coordinates of any two planes of a sheaf, the coordinate of any
plane of the pencil may be written
(2)
CHAPTER III
PROJECTIVITY
12. The linear transformation. We shall now consider the
substitution
 c^,A*o) a)
not as a change of coordinates, as in 9, but as denning a trans
formation in the sense of 5. Then x l : x 2 are to be interpreted as
the coordinate of an element of a onedimensional extent and
x( : x f 2 as the coordinate of the transformed element of the same or
another onedimensional extent. If x l : x 2 and x[ : x 2 refer to dif
ferent extents, the elements need not be of the same kind. For
example, the transformation (1) may express the transformation
of points into lines, of points into planes, of lines into planes, and
so on.
To study the transformation we shall find it convenient to use
a nonhomogeneous form obtained by replacing x l : x 2 by X, x( : x 2
by X , and changing the form of the constants. We have
Here X and X may be the point, line, or plane coordinates of
7, 8, 10, 11 or may be the X used in the formulas of 911.
More generally still, X may be any quantity which can be used
to define an element of any kind, even though not yet employed
in this text.
In each case the element with coordinate X is said to be trans
formed into the element with coordinate X , and the two elements
X and X are said to correspond. There is one and only one element
X corresponding to an element X. Conversely, from (2) we obtain
.
 7 X + a
13
(3)
14 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Hence to an element X corresponds one and only one element X.
In other words, the correspondence between the elements \ and the
elements X is one to one.
Any element whose coordinate is unchanged by the trans
formation is called a fixed element of the transformation. This
definition has its chief significance when the elements X and X are
points of the same range, or lines of the same pencil, or planes
of the same pencil. If, for example, X and X are points of the
same range, the point X is transformed into the point X , which
is in general a different point from X, but the fixed points are
unchanged.
To find the fixed elements we have to put X = X in (2) or in (3).
There results
7 X 2 + (Sa) X=0. (4)
Any linear transformation has, accordingly, two fixed elements, which
may be distinct or coincident.
If a, yS, 7, and 5 are real numbers, and real coordinates X and X
correspond to real elements, we may make the following classifica
tion of the linear transformations :
(1) (S a) 2 + 4 /ity > 0. The fixed elements are real and distinct.
The transformation is called hyperbolic.
(2) (8 o:) 2 + 4 $7 < 0. The fixed elements are imaginary with
conjugate imaginary coordinates. The transformation is called
elliptic.
(3) (8 #) 2 4 4 fiy = 0. The fixed points are real and coincident.
The transformation is called parabolic.
By the transformation (2) an element P with coordinate X is
transformed into an element Q with the coordinate X . At the
same time the element Q is transformed into an element R with
coordinate X". In general, R is distinct from P, for X" is given
by the equation
= a\ + ^ (a 2 + /3y*)\ + g/3 + /3S
2
In order that X" should always be the same as X it is necessary
and sufficient that the equation
X 2 +(S 2  a 2 ) X  (a+8)=
PKOJECTIVITY 15
should be true for all values of X. The coefficients #, & 7, and 8
must then satisfy the equations
ay f 78 = 0,
S 2 a 2 =0, (6)
The second equation gives 8 = a. If we take 8 = a the other
two equations give 7 = 0, yS= 0, and the transformation (1) reduces
to the identical transformation X = X . We must therefore take
S = a, and all three equations (6) are satisfied.
The transformation then becomes
(7)
7 A, CC
A linear transformation of this type is called involutory. It has
the property that if repeated once it produces the identical trans
formation. The correspondence between the elements X and the
transformed elements X is called an involution.
EXERCISES
1. Find !he transformation which transforms 0, 1, co into 1, oo, 0,
respectively. What are the fixed points of the transformation ?
"
2. If x is the Cartesian coordinate of a point on a straight line,
determine tjfe linear transformation which interchanges the origin and
the point at infinity. What are the fixed points of the transformation ?
Do all such transformations form a group ?
3. If cc is the Cartesian coordinate of a point on a straight line,
determine the transformation which has only the origin for a fixed
point and also that which has only the point at infinity for a fixed
point. Does each of these types of transformation form a group ?
4. If x is the Cartesian coordinate of a point on a straight line,
determine a transformation with the fixed points i. Do these form
a group ?
5. Show that the general linear transformation may be obtained as
the product of two transformations of the type X = X, two of the
type X = X f b, and one of the type X = 
A
6. Show that any transformation with two distinct fixed elements
, . X a X a
a and b can be written   = k  
X b X
16 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
7. Show that any transformation with a single fixed element a
can be written  =   b.
X a X a
8. Show that any involutory transformation can be written
= > where a and b are the fixed elements.
A o A o
9. Show that all transformations with the same fixed elements
form a group.
10. Consider the set of circles which pass through the same two
fixed points, and the common diameter of the circles. Show that if P
and Q are the two points in which any one of the circles meets the
common diameter, P may be transformed into Q by an involutory
transformation, the form of which is the same for all points P. Show
that the transformation is elliptic or hyperbolic according as the two
fixed points in which the circles intersect are real or imaginary.
11. Show, conversely to Ex. 10, that any involutory transformation
may be geometrically constructed as there described.
13. The cross ratio. The linear transformation contains three
constants ; namely, the ratios of the four coefficients #, /3, 7, and 8.
These constants can be so determined that any three arbitrarily
assumed values of X can be made to correspond to any, three arbi
trarily assumed values of X . In other words,
/. By a linear transformation any three elements can be transformed
into any other three elements, and these three pairs of corresponding
elements are sufficient to fix the transformation.
To write the transformation in terms of the coordinates of three
pairs of corresponding elements, we write first
vx; vA
which is obviously a transformation by which \ is transformed
into \[, and X 2 into Xj. If, in addition, X 3 is to be transformed into
Xg, a must be determined by the equation
(2)
From (1) and (2) we have
X  Xj Xg  Xg X  Xj Xg
which is the required transformation.
PROJECTIVITY 17
If X 4 and \4 are a fourth pair of corresponding elements, we have,
from (3), x ;_ x / _ X^X; = X 4  X 2 X 3 X, ]
Aj A*< ^o Ao A^ Af A*o 2
or, with a slight rearrangement,
Xj X 4 X. 2 X 3
The quantity ^
A l~ \
is called the cross ratio, or the anharmonic ratio, of the four ele
ments X x , X 2 , X g , X 4 , and is denoted by the symbol (X^, X 3 X 4 ).
Equation (4) establishes the theorem :
//. The cross ratio of four elements is unaltered by any linear
transformation.
The cross ratio is accordingly independent of the coordinate
system used in defining the elements.
The cross ratio depends not only on the four elements involved
but also on the order in which they are taken. Now four things
may be taken in twentyfour different orders, but there result only
six distinct cross ratios. In fact, it is easy to show, by writing all
possible cross ratios, that the six distinct ones are
1 1 r1 r
r, ^ \ r,     i
r ji r r r 1
where r is any one of them.
In naming the cross ratio of four elements it is therefore neces
sary to indicate the order in which the elements are to be taken.
We have adopted the convention that if .ZJ, P%, P%, and P are four
elements with the coordinates \, X 2 , X 3 , and X 4 respectively, the
cross ratio indicated by the symbol (^^, P^J^) shall be given by
the relation
.. (6)
If, then, we denote (^JZJ, P Z I) by r, it is evident that
v JJJ) = , (JJJJ, 2JJJ) = 1  r,
V l 4 ay t
18 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
A special form which the cross ratio takes for certain coordinates
is of importance and is given in the following theorem :
///. If the dements P and Q have the coordinates y^ : y^ and z l : z 2 re
spectively, and the elements R and Shave the coordinates y l + ^ 1 : y^ + ^^ 2
and y^ + pz^ : y^ + /z2 2 respectively, then
(PC, RS) = (RS,PQ) = 
To prove this take \ = for the element P, X 2 = oo for the
element Q, X g =X for the element R, and \ 4 = /* for the element
S, and substitute in (6).
If \ is the Cartesian coordinate of a point on a straight line,
then \\=P 3 P 19 \ 1 \=P 4 P 11 \\ 3 =P 3 P 2 , \\=P^P 21 and
The cross ratio is accordingly found by finding the ratio of the
segments into which the line P^ is divided by PI and the ratio of
the segments into which P^ is divided by P, and forming the ratio
of these ratios.
14. Harmonic sets. If a cross ratio is equal to 1, it is called
a harmonic ratio. If P v P z , P & , and P are four elements such that
the four elements form a harmonic set, and the points P^ and P 2
are said to be harmonic conjugates to P z and P.
From III, 13, it follows that the points y^+ \z^:y 2 + \z z and
y\ ~ ^i : #2 ~~ Mz are harmonic conjugates to y^ : y z and z l : Z 2 .
From (7), 13, it follows that if four points on a straight
line form a harmonic set, then
This shows that the two points in a harmonic set divide the dis
tance between their harmonic conjugates internally and externally
in the same ratio.
.
PROJECTIVITY 19
EXERCISES
1. Show that the cross ratio of any point, the transformed point,
and the two fixed points of any elliptic or hyperbolic transformation
is constant. This is sometimes called the characteristic cross ratio of
the transformation. What happens to the characteristic cross ratio as
the two fixed points approach coincidence ?
2. Show that by any involutory transformation any element is
transformed into its harmonic conjugate with respect to the two fixed
elements.
3. If \ v A 2 , X 3 , X 4 form a harmonic set, prove that
1 1
y/
In general, prove that if (X^, X 3 X 4 ) = A:,
1k 1 k
A 2 ~~ A l A 4 ~~ A l A 3 ~~ A l
4. Write the transformation by which each point on a line is trans
formed into its harmonic conjugate with respect to the points X = a,
X = a. What are the fixed points of the transformation ?
5. Prove that an involution of lines of a pencil contains one and
only one pair of perpendicular lines (that is, one case in which a line
is perpendicular to its transformed line) unless all pairs of lines are
perpendicular. When does the latter case occur ?
6. Let x l : x 2 be the coordinate of a point on a line and consider the
point pair defined by the equation
 a 99 ar = 0.
Show that the equation may be reduced to one of three types by a
real transformation of coordinates and give the analytic condition for
each type.
7. Let A and B be two distinct points defined by the equation of
Ex. 6, and P (y l : 7/ 2 ) and Q (^ : 2 ) and R (w l : w 2 ) any three points. If
the protective distance between two points is defined by the equation
k
D(PQ) =  log (PQ, AB), show that D(PQ) + D(QR) = D(PR).
Consider two cases :
1. A and B real. Take k real. Then any two points between A and
B have a real distance apart. A and B are at an infinite distance from
any other point. Any point not between A and B is at an imaginary
distance from any point between A and B.
20 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
2. A and B conjugate imaginary. Take k pure imaginary. Any two
real points are at a real finite distance apart. The total length of the
line is finite.
8. Consider the point pair defined by the equation
a \\ x i 4 2 a^x.2 + a 22 a; = 0.
Then, if y l : y >2 is any given point, the equation
^1 4 Ol2?/l 4
defines a point which is called the polar point of ?/ with respect to
the point pair. Assuming a n a 22 a^ ^= 0, show that to any point cor
responds a definite polar point and that any point is the polar point
of a definite point y. Show that a point and its polar are harmonic
conjugates with respect to the point pair. What happens to these
theorems if a n a 22 a? 2 = ?
15. Projection. Two onedimensional extents are said to be in
projection if the elements of the two extents are brought into
correspondence by means of a linear relation,
between their coordinates. The correspondence is called a projec
tivity. If the correspondence is involutory, the projectivity is an
involution ( 12). From the definition the following theorems
may be immediately deduced:
/. The cross ratio of any four elements of a onedimensional extent
is the same as the cross ratio of the four corresponding elements of a
protective extent.
II. Two onedimensional extents may be brought into projection with
each other in such a way that any three elements of one are made to
correspond to any three elements of the other.
III. A projectivity is fully determined by three pairs of corresponding
elements.
IV. Two extents ivhich are in projection with the same third extent
are in projection with each other.
EXERCISE
If the points of a circle are connected to any two fixed points of the
circle, show that the two pencils of lines formed are projective.
PROJECTIVITY
21
16. Perspective figures. A simple case of a projectivity is that
called a perspectivity, now to be denned. Noting that we have to
do with pencils of different kinds,
according as they are made up
of points, lines, or planes, we
say that two pencils of different
kinds are in perspective when
they are made to correspond in
such a manner that each element
of one pencil lies in the corre
sponding element of the other.
Two pencils of the same kind FlG
are in perspective when each is
in perspective to the same pencil of another kind. The corre
spondence between perspective figures is called a perspectivity.
A pencil of points and one of lines are therefore in perspective
when they lie as in Fig. 5, where the lines a, 5, c, d, etc. correspond
to the points A, B, C, D, etc. To see that we are justified in calling
this relation a projectivity, note that
D \
AD
ED
OA sinAOD
OB sin BOD
Hence, if A and B are taken as fixed points and D as any point,
the variable X is a coordinate at the same time of the points of the
pencil of points and of the lines
of the pencil of lines. Since any
change of coordinate of either of
the pencils is expressed by a
linear relation, the two pencils
satisfy the definition of projec
tive figures.
Two pencils (ranges) of points
are in perspective when they are
perspective to the same pencil
of lines as in Fig. 6. The straight FlG 6
lines connecting corresponding
points of the two ranges then pass through a common point. That
the relation is a projectivity follows from IV, 15.
22
ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
FIG. 7
Two pencils of lines are in perspective when they are in per
spective to the same range of points as in Fig. 7. The points
of intersection of corresponding
lines of the two pencils then lie
on the same straight line. That
the relation is a projectivity
follows from IV, 15.
From these definitions the
following theorems are easily
proved :
/. If four lines of a pencil of
lines are cut ly any transversal,
the cross ratio of the four points of
intersection is independent of the
position of the transversal and is equal to the cross ratio of the four lines.
II. If four points of a range are connected with any center, the cross
ratio of the four connecting lines is independent of the position of the
center and is equal to the cross ratio of the four points of the range.
III. If the straight lines connecting three pairs of corresponding points
of two projective ranges meet in a point, all the lines connecting corre
sponding points meet in that point, and the ranges are in perspective.
IV. If the points of intersection of three pairs of corresponding lines
of two projective pencils lie on a straight line, the points of intersection
of all pairs of corresponding lines lie on that line, and the pencils are
in perspective.
The last two theorems follow from III, 15.
A pencil of lines is in perspective to a pencil of planes when the
vertex of the pencil of lines lies in the axis of the pencil of planes
and each line corresponds to the plane in which it lies. If the plane
of the pencil of lines is perpendicular to the axis of the pencil of
planes, the correspondence is a projectivity, since, by 11, the same
coordinate may be used for each pencil. If the plane of the pencil
of lines is not perpendicular to the axis of the pencil of planes, the
pencil of lines is clearly in perspective to another pencil of lines
with its plane so perpendicular, for in Fig. 7 the two pencils are
not necessarily in the same plane. Hence the relation here is also
a projectivity.
PROJECTIVITY 23
EXERCISES
1. Consider any two project! ve pencils of lines not in perspective
and construct the locus of the intersections of corresponding lines.
Show that this locus passes through the vertices of the two pencils and
that it is intersected by an arbitrary line in not more than two points.
2. Consider any two pencils of points not in perspective and con
struct the lines joining corresponding points. These lines envelop a
curve. Show that not more than two of these lines pass through any
arbitrary point and that the two bases of the pencils belong to these lines.
3. Consider the locus of the lines of intersection of corresponding
planes of two pencils of planes not in perspective. Show that this locus
contains the two axes of the pencils and that it is cut by any arbitrary
plane in a curve such as is defined in Ex. 1.
4. Show that if the line connecting the vertices of two project! ve
pencils of lines is selfcorresponding (that is, considered as belonging
to one pencil it corresponds to itself considered as belonging to the
other pencil) the pencils are in perspective.
5. Show that if the point of intersection of the bases of two projective
ranges is selfcorresponding (see Ex. 4) the ranges are in perspective.
6. Given any two projective ranges of points. Connect any pair of
corresponding points and take any two points and O on the connect
ing line. With as a center construct a pencil of lines in perspective
with the first range, and with as a center construct a pencil of lines
in perspective with the second range. Prove by use of Ex. 4 that the
two pencils are in perspective. Hence show how corresponding points
of two ranges can be found if three pairs of corresponding points are
known or assumed.
7. Given two projective pencils of lines. Take the point of inter
section of two corresponding lines and through it draw any two lines
o and o . On o construct a range of points in perspective to the first
pencil of lines and on o construct a range of points in perspective to
the second pencil of lines. Prove by use of Ex. 5 that the two ranges
are in perspective. Hence show how corresponding lines of two pro
jective pencils can be found if three pairs of corresponding lines are
known or assumed.
17. Other onedimensional extents. We have taken as an example
of a onedimensional extent of points the range, or pencil, consist
ing of all the points on a straight line. It is obvious, however, that
this is not the only example of a onedimensional extent of points.
24 ONEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In fact, any curve, whether in the plane or in space, is a one
dimensional extent, the coordinate of an element of which may be
denned in a variety of ways. One of the simplest methods is to
take the length of the curve measured from a fixed point to a vari
able point as the coordinate of the latter point, but other methods
will suggest themselves to the reader familiar with the parametric
representation of curves. In the case of a circle, for example, we
may construct a pencil of lines with its vertex on the circle, take
as the initial line of the coordinate system the tangent line to the
circle through the vertex of the pencil, and then take as the coordi
nate of a point on the circle the coordinate of the line of the pencil
which passes through that point.
Similarly, the tangent lines to a plane or space curve form an
example of a onedimensional extent of lines. Also the tangent
planes to a cone or a cylinder or the osculating planes to a space
curve are examples of a onedimensional extent of planes. These
extents, both of lines and planes, will be discussed later.
Moreover, it is not necessary that we confine ourselves to points,
lines, and planes as elements. We may, for example, take the
circle in a plane as the element of a plane geometry. In that case
all the circles which pass through the same two points form a one
dimensional extent, a pencil of circles. Another example of a one
dimensional extent of circles consists of all circles whose centers lie
on a fixed curve and whose radii are uniquely determined by the
positions of their centers.
In like manner the sphere may be taken as the element of a
space geometry. All the spheres which intersect in a fixed circle
form then a onedimensional extent of spheres, a pencil of spheres,
and other examples are readily thought of.
In all these cases, when the coordinate X of the element of the
extent is fixed, the discussion of the previous sections applies.
One more remark is important. In all cases we have allowed X
to take complex values. That is, X is a number of the type
where i = V 1. The variable X may accordingly be interpreted in
the usual manner on the complex plane. The significance of the
linear transformation may then be studied from the standpoint of
PllOJECTIVITY 25
the theory of functions of a complex variable. This lies completely
outside of the range of this book.
We notice, however, that in interpreting X as the coordinate
of a point on a straight line we have a onedimensional extent of
complex values, while in interpreting it as a complex point on a
plane we have a twodimensional extent of real values. That is,
the dimensions of an extent will depend upon whether it is counted in
terms of complex quantities or of real quantities. Usually we shall
in this book count dimensions in terms of quantities each of which
may take complex values.
Consider the complex quantity
\ = \ 4 i\, (1)
where \ and \ are real, and let
\ =/!(). *,=/,(0. (2)
t being a real quantity and the functions real functions.
Then as t varies, the point X traces out a curve on the complex
plane which is onedimensional. If X is interpreted as the coordi
nate of a point on a straight line, then equations (2) define a one
dimensional extent of points on the straight line, which do not of
course contain all the points of the line. Such a onedimensional
extent of points is called a thread of the line. Examples are the
thread of real points (X 2 = 0), the thread of pure imaginary points
(Xj =0), the thread of points X x (l h i) the square of whose
coordinates is pure imaginary, and others which can be formed
at pleasure.
REFERENCES
Students who wish to read more on the subject of projectivities may consult
the following short texts :
LING, WENTWORTH, and SMITH, Elements of Protective Geometry. Ginn and
Company.
LEHMER, Synthetic Protective Geometry. Ginn and Company.
/DOWLING, Projective Geometry. McGrawHill Book Company, Inc.
These books differ from the present one in being synthetic instead of analytic in
treatment, and they go beyond the content of our Part I in discussing twodimensional
extents. In spite of that they may easily be read at this point. If larger treatises
are needed, consult the references at the end of Part II of this book.
PART II. TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRJ
CHAPTER IV
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE
18. Homogeneous Cartesian point coordinates. Let OX and OY
be two axes of coordinates, which we take for convenience as rec
tangular. Then, if P is any point and PM is drawn perpendicular
to OX, meeting it at M, the distances OM and HP, with the usual
conventions as to signs, are the wellknown Cartesian coordinates
of P. To make the coordinates homogeneous we place
OM=, MP = y  (1)
* t
Then to any point P corresponds a definite pair of ratios x\y\t.
Conversely, to any real pair of ratios x : y : t, in which t is not equal
to zero, corresponds a real point. In order that a point may cor
respond to any pair of ratios we need to make the following
definitions, in harmony with the general conventions of 3 and 4 :
(1) The ratios 0:0:0 shall not be allowable, for they make both
OM and MP indeterminate, and the point P cannot be fixed.
(2) Complex ratios shall be said to represent an imaginary
point ( 3).
(3) A set of ratios in which t = shall be said to represent a
point at infinity ( 4). In fact, it is obvious that as t approaches
zero, P recedes indefinitely from 0, and conversely. In particular,
the point 0:1:0 is the point at infinity on the line OY ( 7), the
point 1:0:0 is the point at infinity on the line OX, and a : b : is
the point at infinity on the line OM= jMP.
19. The straight line. It is a fundamental proposition in analytic
geometry that any linear equation
Ax + By + Ct=Q (1)
represents a straight line. This is partly a theorem and partly a
definition. It is a theorem as far as it concerns real points whose
27
28 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
coordinates satisfy an equation of the form (1), in which the coeffi
cients are all real and A and B are not both zero. For proof of the
theorem we refer to any textbook on analytic geometry.
The proposition is a definition as far as it refers to imaginary
points, to equations with complex coefficients, or to the equation
t 0. In this sense " straight line " means simply the totality of
pairs of ratios xiy.t which satisfy equation (1).
In particular, the equation t = is satisfied by all points at
infinity. Hence all points at infinity lie on a straight line, called
the line at infinity.
If one or more of the coefficients of (1) are complex the straight
line is said to be imaginary. It is interesting to note that an imag
inary straight line has one and only one real point. To prove this
let us place in (1)
A . = + ia B = + ib C=c + ic.
Then (1) is satisfied by real values of x, y, and t when and only
when . 7 A
a i x + l \y + c f = >
These equations have one and only one solution for the ratios
x : y : t, and the theorem is proved. Of course the real point may
be at infinity.
Consider now any two straight lines, real or imaginary, with the
equations
These equations have the unique solution
x:y:t=B l C t B t C l :C 1 A 1 C t A l :A l B 1 A 1 B l ,
which represents the common point of the two lines. This point is
at infinity when A 1 B 2 A B l = 0, in which case, as is shown in any
textbook on analytic geometry, the lines, if real, are parallel. If
the lines are imaginary they will be called parallel by definition.
We may say
Two straight lines intersect in one and only one point. If the lines
are parallel, the point of intersection is at infinity.
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 29
If (X Q , ?/ ) is a fixed point on the line (1), we have
A** ) + (yy )=0; (2)
whence u u A
tj_ *j r
**o~ ~^
Whether A and B be real or complex quantities, there exists a
real or imaginary angle 6 such that
tan0 = .
Then, from equation (2),
cos 6 sin 6
By placing these equal ratios equal to r we have, as another
method of representing a straight line analytically, the equations
x = x.+ r cos#,
x Q N
y = y Q 4 r sin 6.
These are the parametric equations of the straight line. In them
# o , y Q , and 6 are constants and r a variable parameter to each value
of which corresponds one and only one point on the line, and con
versely. If the quantities involved are all real, the relation between
them is easily represented by a figure. In all cases
%) 2 (4)
and is defined as the distance between the points (#, y) and (X Q , ?/ o ).
This work breaks down only when A 2 + B*= 0. In that case
either A=B=Q, and the line (1) is the line at infinity, or equa
tion (1) takes the form
viy + C=Q. (5)
Here we may still place
tan 6 = i,
but sin 6 and cos 6 become infinite and equations (3) are impossible.
In fact, equation (2) becomes
This shows that the distance between any two points on the
imaginary lines (5) must be taken as zero. For that reason they
are called minimum lines. They play a unique and very important
part in the geometry of the plane.
30 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Prove that through every imaginary point goes one and only one
real line.
2. Prove that if a real straight line contains an imaginary point it
contains also the conjugate imaginary point (that is, the point whose
coordinates are conjugate imaginary to those of the first point).
3. Prove that if a real point lies on an imaginary line it lies also on
the conjugate imaginary line (that is, the line whose coefficients are
conjugate imaginary to those of the first line).
4. If the usual formula for the angle between two lines is extended
to imaginary lines, show that the angle between a minimum line and
another line is infinite and that the angle between two minimum lines
is indeterminate.
5. Given a pencil of lines with its vertex at the origin. Prove
that if the pencil is projected on itself by rotating each line through
a constant angle, the fixed points of the projection are the minimum
lines.
6. Show that a parametric form of the equations of a minimum line is
where t is a parameter, not a length.
20. The circle points at infinity. The circle is defined analyti
cally by the equation
a(x 2 + y 2 ) + 2/rf + 2 gyt + c? = 0, (1)
the form to which equation (4), 19, reduces when X Q , y^ and r
are constants and (#, y) are replaced by x:y:t.
If a 3= 0, the circle evidently meets the line at infinity in the
two points 1 : i : and 1 : i : 0, no matter what the values of
the coefficients in its equation. These two points are called the
circle points at infinity. If a = in (1), the circle contains the
entire line at infinity and, in particular, the circle points. Hence
we may say that all circles pass through the two circle points
at infinity.
The circle points 1 : i : are said to be at infinity because they
satisfy the equation t = 0. Their distance from the center of the
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 31
circle is not, however, infinite. The distance between two points
with the nonhomogeneous coordinates (#, y) and (X Q , y o ) is
which can be written in homogeneous coordinates as
and this becomes indeterminate when x : y : t is replaced by 1 : i : 0.
This perhaps makes it easier to understand the statement that
these points lie on all circles.
If x Q :y Q : t Q is the center of the circle and r its radius, equation (1)
can be written (compare equation (2))
(zt.x.ty + W, y?r*t\?= 0.
When r = this equation becomes
(*.*. ) + (Ky.o =o, (3)
the locus of which may be described as a circle with center (# , ?/ o )
and radius zero. When the center is a real point the circle (3)
contains no other real point and is accordingly often called a point
circle. A point circle, however, contains other imaginary points.
In fact, equation (3) may be written as
CO*. *.0 +* <#. 8,0] [0*. *.0  * (y. 8,0] = .
which is equivalent to the two linear equations
each of which is satisfied by one of the circle points at infinity.
Hence we have the result that a point circle consists of the two
imaginary straight lines drawn from the center of the circle to the two
circle points at infinity.
The distance from the point (# , # ) to any point on either of
the two lines just described is zero, by virtue of equation (3).
There are therefore the minimum lines of 19, as is also directly
visible from equations (4). It is obvious that through any point
of the plane go two minimum lines, one to each of the circle points
at infinity.
32 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Show that an imaginary circle may contain either no real point,
one real point, or two real points.
2. Consider the pencil of circles composed of all circles through two
fixed points. Show that the pencil contains two point circles and one
circle consisting of a straight line and the line at infinity. Show also
that the point circles have real centers when the fixed points of the
pencil of circles are conjugate imaginary, and that the point circles
have imaginary centers when the fixed points are real.
3. If a pencil of circles consists of circles through a fixed point and
tangent at that point to a fixed line, where are the point circles and
the straight line of the pencil ?
21. The conic. An equation of the second degree,
aa?+ 2 hxy + % 2 + 2fxt + 2gyt + ct*= 0, (1)
represents a locus, called a conic, which is intersected by a general
straight line in two points. For the simultaneous solution of the
equation (1) and the equation
Ax+By + Ct=Q (2)
consists of two sets of ratios except for particular values of A, B,
and C.
Let the equation (1) be written in the nonhomogeneous form
by placing = 1, and let (2) be written in the form ( 19)
x = x Q +rcos0, y = y Q + r sin 6. (3)
The values of r which correspond to the points of intersection
of the straight line (2) with the curve (1) will be found by sub
stituting in (1) the values of x and y given by (3). There results
Lr 2 +2Mr + N=Q, (4)
where M = (ax Q + hy Q +/) cos 6 + ( hx Q f ly Q + g) sin 6.
This will be zero for all values of 6 when X Q and y Q satisfy the
equations r +Ay +/= 0, hx a + by + ff = 0. (5)
In this case the point (X Q , y Q ~) will be called the center of the
curve, since any line through it meets the curve in two points
equally distant from it and on opposite sides of it. Now equation
(5) can be satisfied by a point not on the line at infinity when
and only when h 2 ab3=Q. Hence the conic (1) is a central conic
when h 2 ab= 0, and is a noncentral conic when h 2 ab = 0.
POINT AND LINE COOKDINATES IN A PLANE 33
The conic (1) is cut by the line at infinity t = in two points
for which the ratio x : y is given by the equation
ax*+2hxy + by 2 = Q. (6)
This has equal or unequal roots according as h z ab is equal or
unequal to zero. Hence a central conic cuts the line at infinity in two
distinct points; a noncentral conic cuts the line at infinity in two
coincident points.
So far the discussion is independent of the nature of the coeffi
cients of (1). If, however, the coefficients are real the classifica
tion may be made more closely, as follows :
(1) h 2 ab<0. The curve cuts the line at infinity in two distinct
imaginary points. It is an ellipse in the elementary sense, or
consists of two imaginary straight lines intersecting in a real
point not at infinity, or is satisfied by no real point.
(2) h 2 ab > 0. The curve cuts the line at infinity in two distinct real
points. It is a hyperbola or consists of two real nonparallel lines.
(3) h 2 ab = 0. The curve cuts the line at infinity in two real coin
cident points. It is a parabola, or two parallel lines, or two
coincident lines. In the very special case in which h = a = b =
it degenerates into the line at infinity, and the straight line
fx + gy + ct = 0.
EXERCISES
1. Show that for a given conic there goes through any point, in
general, one straight line such that the segment intercepted by the conic
is bisected by the point.
2. Show that for a given conic there go through any point, in gen
eral, two lines which have one intercept with the conic at infinity.
3. Prove that through the center of a central conic there go two
straight lines which have both intercepts with the conic at infinity.
These are the asymptotes. Show that the asymptotes of an ellipse are
imaginary and those of a hyperbola real, and find their equations.
4. Show from (3) that if X Q : ?/ : t Q is a point on the conic, the equa
tion of the tangent line is
0*o + 7 % + A) x + ( ; ^ + % + 0* ) y + (A + W* + c *o) * = 
5. Show that the condition that (1) should represent straight lines is
a h f
h I g = 0.
34
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETKY
22. Trilinear point coordinates. Let AB, BC, and CA (Fig. 8)
be three fixed straight lines of reference forming a triangle and let
k^ k z , and k 3 be three arbitrarily assumed constants. Let P be any
point in the plane ABC and let p^ jt? 2 , and p z be the three perpen
dicular distances from P to the three lines of reference. Algebraic
signs are to be attached to each of these distances according to
the side of the line of reference on which P lies, the positive side
of each line being assumed at
pleasure.
The coordinates of P are
defined as the ratios of three
quantities # , # , x s such that
(1:0:0)
It is evident that if P is given,
its coordinates are uniquely de
termined. Conversely, let real
ratios a 1 : a 2 : a s be assumed for
x^x^.x^. The ratio xjx^aja^
furnishes the condition *= con
FIG. 8
stant, which is satisfied by any
point on a unique line through A. Similarly, the ratio x z : x 3 = a 2 : a z
is satisfied by any point on a unique line through C. If these lines
intersect, the point of intersection is P, which is thus uniquely
determined by its coordinates.
In case these two lines are parallel we may extend our coordi
nate system by saying that the coordinates a l : a 2 : a s define a point
of infinity. These are, in fact, the limiting ratios approached by
x \ : x i : x a as ^ recedes indefinitely from the lines of reference.
We complete the definition of the coordinates by saying that
complex coordinates define imaginary points of the plane, and the
coordinates 0:0:0 are not allowable.
The coordinates of A are 0:0:1, those of B are 0:1:0, and
those of C are 1:0:0. The ratios of k^ & 2 , and & 3 are determined
when the point with the coordinates 1 : 1 : 1 is fixed. This point we
shall call the unit point, and since the k s are arbitrary it may be
taken anywhere. Hence the coordinate system is determined by three
arbitrary lines of reference and an arbitrary unit point.
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 35
The trilinear coordinates contain the Cartesian coordinates as a
special limiting case, in which the line BC is the line at infinity. If
BC recedes indefinitely from A, p % becomes infinite, but the factor
& 3 can be made to approach zero in such a way that Lim ^ s /? s = l.
(There is an exception only
when P is on the line BC and
remains there as BC becomes
the line at infinity ; in this
case &J? 3 = 0.) If in addition
we place ^=^ = 1, the coor
dinates x l : # 2 : x s become the
coordinates x\y\t of 18.
23. Points on a line. If
y\ : y* : y* and z \ : z * : z * are two
fixed points, the coordinates of
any point on the straight line
joining them are y^+ \z l : y^ f
\2 2 : y^ + \2 3 , and any point with these coordinates lies on that line.
To prove this let Y and Z (Fig. 9) be the two fixed points and P
Yp
any point on the straight line YZ. Place  = m. Then, if jt?J, p v
P Zi
and p( are the perpendiculars from I 7 , P, and Z respectively on
AB, it is evident from similar triangles that
whence
Similarly,
From (1), 22, p. ^i pj=jjp, pJ s_J,
where /a, /o ,*and /a" are proportionality factors. By substitution
we have mp n mp rr mp u
which is the required form, where X = ~
FIG. 9
= p[+ m p l
Pl
36 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The above proof holds for any real point P. Conversely, any
real value of X determines a real m (the coordinates of Y and Z
being real) and hence determines a real point of P. For complex
values of X or for imaginary points Y and Z the statement at the
beginning of this section is the definition of a straight line.
It is to be noticed that X is an example of the kind of coordinates
of the points of a range which was discussed in 8.
24. The linear equation in point coordinates. A homogeneous
equation of the first degree,
represents a straight line, and conversely.
To prove this theorem it is necessary to show that the linear
equation is equivalent to the equations of 23. Let us have given
and let y l : y^ : / 3 and z l : z 2 : z & be two points on the locus of (1).
Then
From these three equations we have
0.
Then from the theory of determinants there exist three multi
pliers \ 1? X 2 , X 3 such that
whence ^ : a? 2 : ^ 3 = ^ + X^ : y 8 + Xz 2 : y a + X^.
Conversely, if equations of the form (2) are given ^ve may write
themas
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 37
The elimination of p and X then gives
which is a linear equation in x^ # 2 , and x s .
Hence equation (1) is equivalent to equation (2), and the
theorem at the beginning of this section is proved.
25. Lines of a pencil. If
= 0, (1)
are two fixed lines, the equation of any line through their point of
intersection is
It is evident that (3) represents a straight line and that the
coordinates of any point which satisfy (1) and (2) satisfy also (3).
Furthermore, X is uniquely determined by the coordinates of any
point not 011 (1) and (2). Hence for all values of X, (3) defines
the lines of a pencil.
The parameter X in (3) is of the type of coordinates defined in
10. To show this let us take Y (y^i y z : y g ), a point on (1), and
point on (3) and also a point of the range determined by Y and Z.
By 9, X is the coordinate of a point on the range, and hence, as
shown in 16, the coordinate of a line of the pencil in the sense
of 10.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the equation of any line through the point A of the
triangle of reference is x l + A# 2 = 0, and find the coordinates of the
point in which it intersects any line a^ + a 2 x 2 + a^x & = 0. Distinguish
between the cases in which g =. and 3 = 0.
2. Write the equations of two projective pencils of lines with
the vertices A and B respectively. Find the equation satisfied by
the coordinates of the points of intersection of corresponding lines.
Hence verify Ex. 1, 16.
3. Write the coordinates of the points of two projective ranges on
AB and AC respectively. Find the equations of the lines connecting
corresponding points. Hence verify Ex. 2, 16.
38 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
4. Show that homogeneous point coordinates are connected by the
relation
p (ak^ + bkjc 2 + ck a x a ) = K,
where a, b, and c are the lengths of the sides of the triangle of reference
and K is its area. Hence show that
bk 2 x 2 + ck a x s =
is the equation of the straight line at infinity.
5. Consider the case in which B is at infinity, A and C are right
angles, and k : = k 2 = k s = 1. Show, for example, that a^ + # 3 is
the equation of the straight line at infinity and that x 1 + x s \ Xx 2 =
is the equation of any straight line parallel to A C.
26. Line coordinates in a plane. The coefficients a^ 2 , 3 in the
equation of a straight line are sufficient to fix the line. In fact,
to any set of ratios a l : 2 : a s corresponds one and only one line,
and conversely. These ratios may accordingly be taken as coor
dinates of a straight line, or line coordinates, and a geometry may
be built up in which the element is the straight line and not
the point.
A variable or general set of line coordinates we shall denote by
u^.u^.u^, and the line with these coordinates is the straight line
which has the point equation
This equation may also be considered as the necessary and suffi
cient condition that the line u^ : u 2 : u 3 and the point x^ix^i x z are
" united " ; that is, that the point lies on the line and the line
passes through the point.
It is obvious that the definition of line coordinates holds for
Cartesian as well as for trilinear coordinates. With the use of
trilinear coordinates any straight line may be given the coordinates
1:1:1. For the substitution
x( x , x(
? pX * = a: pX *=a;
which amounts to a change in the constants k^ & 2 , k z in (1),
22, changes the equation a^f # 2 ^ 2 + a 3 x s mto the equation
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 39
27. Pencil of lines and the linear equation in line coordinates. If
v i : v z : v s anc ^ w i : W 2 : w s are ^ wo nxe d lines, it follows immediately
from 25 that
v l 4 \w l : v 2 4 \w z : v s 4 Xw 3 (1)
represents any line of the pencil determined by the two lines v {
and w?
Consider now an equation of the first degree in line coordinates,
l*l+ a " a +S M 8= (2)
It may be readily shown, as in 24, that if v l : v 2 : v 3 and w l : w^ : w s
are two sets of coordinates satisfying (2), the general values of
u^.u^: u^ which satisfy (2) are of the form (1). Hence (2) repre
sents a pencil of lines.
Or we may argue directly from (1), 26, and say at once that
any line whose coordinates satisfy (2) is united with the point
a l : a 2 : 3 and, conversely, that any line united with the point t : & 2 : a 3
has coordinates which satisfy (2). We have, therefore, the theorem :
Tlie equation a^ + a z u 2 4 a & u 3 = represents a pencil of lines of
which the vertex is the point a^ : a 2 : a s .
Compare the linear equation in point coordinates,
and the linear equation in line coordinates,
Equation (3) is satisfied by all points on a range of which the
base is the line with the line coordinates a l : a 2 : a 3 . It is the point
equation of that line.
Equation (4) is satisfied by all lines of a pencil of which the
vertex is the point with the point coordinates a 1 :a a : 8 . It is
the line equation of that point.
EXERCISES
1. If ABC is the triangle of reference, as in Fig. 8, show that the
line coordinates of AB are 1:0:0, those of EC are 0:0:1, and those of
CA are 0:1:0. Show also that the equation of the point A in line
coordinates is w 8 = 0, that of B is u z = 0, and that of C is u^ = 0.
2. What does the equation w 1 4Xw 2 = represent? What line is
represented by the line coordinates X : 1 : ?
40 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
3. Find in line coordinates the equations of the points of the range
which lie on the line 1:1:1; also the point coordinates of the same
range.
4. Find in point coordinates the equations of the lines of the pencil
with vertex 1:1:1. Find also the line coordinates of the lines of the
same pencil.
5. Show that line coordinates are proportional to the segments cut
off by the line on the sides of the triangle of reference, each segment
being multiplied by a constant factor.
6. Show that line coordinates are proportional to the three perpen
diculars from the vertices of the triangle of reference to the straight
line, each perpendicular being multiplied by a constant factor.
28. Dualistic relations. The geometries of the point and the line
in a plane are dualistic (2). This arises from the fact that the
algebraic analysis is the same in the two geometries. The differ
ence comes in the interpretation of the analysis. In both cases we
have the two independent ratios of three variables which are used
homogeneously. In the one case these ratios are interpreted as the
coordinates of a point; in the other case they are interpreted as
the coordinates of a line. In both cases we have to consider a
linear homogeneous equation connecting the variables which is sat
isfied by a singly infinite set of ratio pairs. In the point geometry
this equation is satisfied By the singly infinite set of points which
lie on a straight line. In the line geometry this equation is satis
fied by the singly infinite set of straight lines which pass through
a point.
From the above it appears that any piece of analysis involving
two independent variables connected by one or more homogeneous
linear equations has two interpretations which differ in that " line "
in one is " point " in the other, and vice versa. Hence a geometric
theorem involving points and lines and their mutual relations may
be changed into a new theorem by changing point " to " line " and
" line " to " point." In making this interchange, of course, such
other changes in phraseology as will preserve the English idiom
are also necessary. For example, " point on a line " becomes " line
through a point," and " a line connecting two points " becomes " a
point of intersection of two lines."
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 41
We restate some of the results thus far obtained in parallel
columns so as to show the dualistic relations.
The ratios x
x 8 determine
a point.
A linear equation aft 4
a 8 x 3 = represents all points on
the line of which the coordinates
are a l : a >2 : a^. It is the equation of
the line.
If y { and z { are fixed points the
coordinates of any point on the
line connecting them are ?/ t . f Az t .
If aft + aft + aft =
and b 1 x l f I 2 x 2 + bft =
The ratios u l : u^ : u s determine
a straight line.
A linear equation a^ f a 2 u 2 \
a s u 8 = represents all lines through
the point of which the coordinates
are a l : a^ : a & . It is the equation of
the point.
If v i and w f are fixed lines the
coordinates of any line through their
point of intersection are v { + Av
If
and
^ =
u =
are the equations of two lines, the are the equations of two points,
equation of any line through their the equation of any point on the
point of intersection is line connecting them is
Three points y iy z t , t { lie on a Three lines v it w i} u { meet in
straight line when
a point when
y\ z
2/ 2 *,
2/3 *
= 0.
= 0.
Three straight lines
meet in a point when
Three points
lie on a straight line when
=
a * b * C 2
= 0,
2 2
fc. c.
= 0.
29. Change of coordinates. We will first establish the relation
between a set of Cartesian coordinates and a set of triliiiear coor
^dinates. Let AB, EC, and CA be the lines of reference of the
42 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETBY
trilinear coordinates and let their equations referred to any set of
Cartesian coordinates be respectively
(1)
Then by a familiar theorem in analytic geometry,
= q^ 4 6 a y + g^
=
=
We may take without loss of generality
since each of the equations (1) may be multiplied by a factor
without changing the lines represented.
Therefore we have
px^a^ + b^ + cj,
px^a^x + tyicf, (2)
where /> is a proportionality factor.
Since the lines ^4.#, ^(7, and (7^4 form a triangle, the determinant
I a J ) 2 C s ^ oes no ^ van i s ^ an d equations (2) may be solved for x, y,
and t.
Suppose now another triangle A f B C f be taken, the equations of
its sides being
4*+ty+4*A
+ 4t=Q, (3)
and let x[: x 2 : x s be trilinear coordinates referred to the triangle
A B C . Then, as before,
p x[ = a[x + % + ^I.
/>X = 4* + &;y + * (4)
pX = 8 2: + ijy 4 cj.
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 43
Equations (2) may be solved for x, y, and t and the results
substituted in (4). There result relations of the form
fa*
which are the equations of transformation of coordinates from
x l : x 2 : x s to 4 : x 2 : x(.
In (5) the righthand members equated to zero give the equa
tions in trilinear coordinates of the sides of the triangle of reference
A B C . Since these do not meet in a point the coefficients are sub
ject to the condition that their determinant does not vanish, and
this is the only condition imposed upon them.
By the transformation (5) the equation of the straight line
?Vi+ V 2 +V 3 =0
becomes u(x{ + u 2 x 2 + u ^x( = 0,
where = X + +
These are the formulas for the change of line coordinates.
In connection with the change of coordinates three theorems are
of importance.
/. The degree of an equation in point or line coordinates is unaltered
by a change from one set of trilinear coordinates to another.
II. If the coordinates y i and z { are transformed into the coordinates
y( and 2 t , the coordinates y { + \z f are transformed into the coordinates
y[ + X fcJ, where \ f = c\, c being a constant.
III. The cross ratio of four points or four lines is independent of
the coordinate system.
Theorem I follows immediately from the fact that equations (5)
and (6) are linear.
To prove theorem II note that from (5), if the coordinates
\z t . are transformed into x { , then
44
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
where & i and <r 2 are used, since in transforming y { and z. by (5) the
proportionality factors may differ.
Similar expressions may be found for x 2 and x f 3 . Hence we have
x l : x r 2 : x( = y( + \z{ : y 2 \ \z! 2 : y( + \z(, which proves the
"i "i /i
theorem. The same proof holds for line coordinates using equa
tions (6).
Theorem III follows at once from II.
30. Certain straightline configurations. A complete nline is
denned as the figure formed by n straight lines, no three of which
pass through the same point, together
with the \ n (n 1) points of inter
section of these lines. A complete
threeline is therefore a triangle con
sisting of three sides and three vertices.
A complete fourline is called a com
plete quadrilateral and consists of four
sides and six vertices. Thus in Fig. 10
the four sides are a, 5, <?, d and the six
vertices are K, L, M, .2V, P, Q. Two
vertices not on the same side are called opposite, as K and M, L
and JV, P and Q. A straight line joining two opposite vertices is a
diagonal line. The complete quadrilateral has three diagonal lines.
A complete npoint is de
fined as the figure formed by
n points, no three of which lie
on a straight line, together
with the ^n(n 1) straight
lines joining these points. A
complete threepoint is there
fore a triangle consisting of
three vertices and three sides.
A complete fourpoint is called
a complete quadrangle and
. / , , FIG. 11
consists of four vertices and
six sides. Thus in Fig. 11 the four vertices are A, B, C, D and
the six sides are &, ?, w, w, p, q. Two sides not passing through the
same vertex are called opposite, as k and m, I and rc, and p and q.
FIG. 10
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 45
The point of intersection of two opposite sides is a diagonal
point. The complete quadrangle has three diagonal points.
It is obvious that a complete %point and a complete nline are
dualistic. A triangle is dualistic to a triangle, and a complete
quadrangle to a complete quadrilateral. The diagonal lines of
a complete quadrilateral are dualistic to the diagonal points of a
complete quadrangle.
For the complete triangle we shall prove the following dualistic
theorems :
L The theorem of Desargues. If two triangles are so placed that the
straight lines connecting homologous vertices meet in a point, then the
points of intersection of homologous sides lie on a straight line.
II. If two triangles are so placed that the points of intersection
of homologous sides lie on a straight line, then the lines connecting
homologous vertices meet in a point.
Let there be given two triangles with the vertices A, B, C and
A 1 , B , C respectively (Fig. 12) and with the sides a, b, c and
a , b , c respectively, the
side a lying opposite the
vertex A etc.
We shall denote by
AA the straight line
connecting A and A ,
and by aa the point
of intersection of a and
a . Then the two the
orems stated above are
respectively :
(MO
If the straight lines 9
"Frr 19
AA ,BB , and CC meet
in a point 0, the points aa , bb r , and cc f lie on a straight line o.
If the points aa 1 , bb f , and cc f lie on a straight line o, the straight
lines AA , BB , and CC meet in a point 0.
The proofs of these theorems may be given together, the upper
line of the following sentences being read for theorem I and the
lower line for theorem II.
46 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Take K _ > as triangle of reference and ! \ as the unit
. I abc J UJ f
<Y f Then the coordinates of !  are 0:0:1, those of *! i f
are 0:1:0, those of f**\ are 1:0:0, and those of f \ are 1:1:1.
UJ r^n UJ r/n
By 28 the coordinates of j , > are 1 : 1 : 1 + \, those of 4 7) V
are 1 : 1 + /i : 1, and those of j , r are 1 + i/ : 1 : 1.
The coordinates of any / P oint on A B \ are therefore
lline through a b i
i , i i /> i v i i <* j i.1. f point lies also on AB ~\
l + /3:l + /3(l+/A):lhXf /o, andif this \ b , ., u xT
^passes also through abj
we must have /} = !. Hence the coordinates of ! f \ are
{f)f) f 1 ^CC J
* are z^ : : \ and
BB J
the coordinates of "I jj/j are v: JJL: 0. Since
/*
v
V U
= 0,
i.v j.1. f points aa f , W, cc f \ , f line o ") ,~,
the three { ,F ., __. _. r have a common j . , * : >. The
Limes AA t BB\ CC J Lp omt J
two theorems are therefore proved.
rp, f pointl . . , f line o "} .
The < r v J equation of the J . , > is
L line J \pomt Oj
C \IJLX f~ ^A,# f ffa? = "1
J I 2 3 I .
For the complete quadrilateral we shall prove the following
theorem :
///. Any two diagonals of a complete quadrilateral intersect the
third diagonal in two points which are harmonic conjugates to the two
vertices which lie on that diagonal.
In Fig. 13 let the two diagonals LN and MK intersect the third
diagonal PQ. in the points R and S respectively. We are to prove
that R and S are harmonic conjugates to P and Q.
Since by III, 29, the cross ratio is independent of the coordi
nate system, we shall take the triangle LPQ as the triangle of
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 47
reference and the point N as the unit point, so that the coordi
nates of P are 0:0:1, those of Q are 1:0:0, those of L are
0:1:0, and those of N are 1:1:1. Then by 23 it is easy
to see that the coordinates of
R are 1:0:1, those of M are
0:1:1, those of Tfare 1 : 1 : 0,
and finally that those of S
are 1:0:1. By 14 the
theorem follows.
The dualistic theorem to III
is as follows:
IV. If any two diagonal points p^ "R g V
of a complete quadrangle are p IG ^3 f\ j> &\
joined by straight lines to the
third diagonal point, the two joining lines are harmonic conjugates
to the two sides of the quadrangle which pass through that third
diagonal point.
The proof is left to the reader.
Since the cross ratio of any four lines of a pencil is equal to
the cross ratio of the four points in which the four lines cut any
transversal ( 16), theorem IV leads at once to the following:
V. The straight line connecting any two diagonal points of a com
plete quadrangle meets the sides of the quadrangle which do not pass
through the two diagonal points, in two points which are harmonic
conjugates to the two diagonal points.
Similarly, theorem III may be replaced by the theorem, dualistic
to V, as follows:
VI. If the intersection of any two diagonal lines of a complete
quadrilateral is connected with the two vertices of the quadrilateral
which do not lie on the two diagonals, the two connecting lines are
harmonic conjugates to the two diagonals.
Theorem III gives a method of finding the fourth point in a
harmonic set when three points are known. In Fig. 13 let us
suppose P, Q, and R given, and let it be required to find S. The
point L may be taken at pleasure and the lines LP, LR, and LQ
drawn. Then the point N may be taken at pleasure on LR and
48
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the points M and K determined by drawing QN and PN. The
line MK can then be drawn, determining S.
We will now prove the following theorem :
VII. Theorem of Pappus. If P^ P%, P b are three points on a
straight line and P 2 , P, P & are three points on another straight line,
the three points of intersection of the three pairs of lines PP 2 and
PtP b , JJJJ and P b P^ P Z P and P^ lie on a straight line.
We may so choose the coordinate system that the line contain
ing JJ, P 8 , Pr, (Fig. 14) shall be x 1 = and the line /containing
JJ, 7^, 7J shall be # 2 = 0. We may then take the line P 1 P 2 as the
line X B = 0, so that the coordi
nates of P 1 are (0:1: 0) and
those of P z are (1:0: 0), and
may so take the unit point
that the coordinates of P & are
(0:1:1) and those of JJ are
(1:0: 1). Call the coordinates
of P b (0 : 1 : X) and those of
P 6 (1 : : fj,). Then the equa
tion of J^P 2 is x 3 = and that
of PiP b is 2^+ \x 2  x s = 0. These
lines intersect in the point
K (X : 1 : 0). The equation
is x z x s =Q and that
FIG. 14
= 0,
of
of P^PQ is At^+ Xz 2 x 3 = 0. These lines intersect in the point
L (1 X : IJL : IJL*). The equation of P S P 4: is x^+ x^ x 3 = and that of
is /Jt X^ x 3 = 0. These lines intersect in M (1 : p 1 : JJL). Since
X 10
1  X fj, /*
1 fJLl
the three points L, K, M lie in a straight line, as was to be proved.
Dualistic to this theorem is the following :
VIIl. If p^ jt? 3 , p 5 are three straight lines through a point and
p 2 , p^, p 6 are three straight lines through another point, the three lines
connecting the three pairs of points jt?j? 2 and
PsPt an d P&P\ mee t ^ n a point
The proof is left to the reader.
and
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 49
EXERCISES
1. Prove theorem IV.
2. Prove theorem VIII.
3. A triangle is so placed that its vertices P, Q, R are on the sides
AB, AC, and BC, respectively, of a fixed triangle and its sides PR and
RQ pass through two fixed points in a straight line with A. Prove that
the side PQ passes through a fixed point.
4. A triangle is so placed that its sides QR, PR, PQ pass through
the vertices C, B, A, respectively, of a fixed triangle and its vertices Q
and P lie on two fixed lines which intersect on BC. Prove that the
vertex R lies on a straight line.
5. Given a straight line^? and two fixed points A and.S. Take any
two points on p and connect each of them with A and B. These lines
determine two new points C and D by their intersections. Prove that
the line CD passes through a fixed point on AB.
6. Given a point P and two fixed lines a and b. Draw any two lines
through P and connect their points of intersection with a and b. This
determines two new lines c and d. Prove that the point of intersection
of c and d lies on a fixed straight line through ab.
7. Three lines/, g, h are drawn through the vertex A of the triangle
ABC. On g any point is taken and the lines I and m are drawn to C
and B respectively. The line I intersects f in D and the line m inter
sects h in E. Prove that DE passes through a fixed point on BC.
8. Three points F, G, H are taken on the side BC of. the triangle
ABC. Through G any line is drawn cutting AB and AC in L and M
respectively. The lines FL and HM intersect in K. Prove that the
locus of K is a straight line through A.
9. Show that if a, a and b, b are any two pairs of corresponding
lines of two projective pencils not in perspective, the line connecting
the points ab and a b passes through a fixed point. This is called the
center of homology of the two pencils. Show that it is the intersection
of the two lines which correspond to the line connecting the vertices of
the pencils, considered as belonging first to one pencil and then to the
other.
10. Show that if A, A and B, B are any two points of two projec
tive ranges which are not in perspective, the point of intersection of
the lines AB and A B lies on a fixed straight line. This is called the
axis of homology of the two ranges. Show that it intersects the base of
each range in the point which corresponds to the point of intersection
of the two bases, considered as belonging to the other range.
50 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
31. Curves in point coordinates. The equations
where t is an independent variable and the ratios of the functions
t () are not constant or indeterminate, define a onedimensional
extent of points called a curve. It is not necessary that any point
of the curve should be real. We shall limit ourselves to those
curves for which the functions $ t (T) are continuous and have
derivatives of at least the first order.
If 3 (T) is identically zero the curve is the straight line x z = 0.
Otherwise we may write equations (1) in the form
5 = &( = * (0 , s = MQ = j. (0 . (2)
x, <f>,(0 x <j> CO
3 *3Vx 3 f9\.S
It is then possible to eliminate t between the equations (2) with
the result,
(3)
Conversely, let there be given an equation
/Ov*v*,)=0, (4)
where /is a homogeneous function in x^ x^ x s . By a homogeneous
function we mean one which satisfies the condition
where \ is any multiplier, not zero or infinity. In particular, if we
place \= WQ have
for all points for which x 3 is not zero. Equation (4) may then be
written /(, U)=0, (5)
g,
where
We shall limit ourselves to functions /which are continuous and
have partial derivatives of at least the first order.
We shall also assume that (4) is satisfied by at least one point
: Ml}
one ^ ^ ne P ar tial derivatives / say ~ \
which is valid in the vicinity of t=, s=
y,
This last equation may be written
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 51
does not vanish. Then similar conditions hold for (5), and by the
theory of implicit functions * we have, from (5),
y,
which is of the type of equations (1). Hence, under our hypotheses
equation (4) represents a curve.
The above discussion leaves unconsidered the points for which
x 3 = 0. These may be found by directsubstitution in (4) or we may
repeat the discussion, dividing by some other coordinate, perhaps x^
Let P (j/j : y 2 : y^) be a point of (1) corresponding to the value
t = o , and let Q (y l + ky l : y^ + ky^ : y z + A?/ 3 ) be a point correspond
ing to t Q + A. These two points fix a straight line with the equation
the coefficients of which are determined by the two equations
i) + 2 G/ 2 + A # 2 ) + , G/3
From these it follows that
It is to be noticed that these involve the ratios of the in
crements A^, A?/ 2 , Ay 3 . If now A approaches zero, the point
Q approaches P, the ratios &y l : A?/ 2 : Ay 3 approach the ratios
dy l : dy 2 : dy^ and the ratios a l : a 2 : a s approach the limiting ratios
The straight line (6) with the coefficients defined by (8) is
the limit of the secant PQ and is called the tangent to the curve.
If the equation of the curve is in the form (4), the equation of
the tangent may be modified as follows :
Since /(y^y^ y^) is a homogeneous function we have, by
Euler s theorem,
See WilymLs " Advanced Calculus. " p. 117.
52 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
On the other hand, dy^ dy^ dy & satisfy the condition
Equations (9) and (10) give
P / p/> Qf
yM y**y* : vAt* y^y* : yy* y^y^ ^ : ^ : ^
Hence the equation of the tangent line is, from (8) and (10),
The equation (11) is fufly and uniquely determined for any
point on the curve except for a point y l : y^ : y^ at which
f=0, = 0, f = 0. (12)
fy ty t ty t
Points for which the conditions (12) hold are called singular points.
We may sum up as follows : At every nonsingular point (y : y^ : y^)
there is a definite tangent line given by the equation
Consider now any straight line determined by two fixed points
y. and z so that y { + \z { is any point of the line. The point y { + \z ;
lies on the curve (1) when X has a value satisfying the equation
/(y,+ H y,+ H .+ H) = . C 13 )
which expands by Taylor s theorem into
2 \ 2 +... = 1 (14)
where A= and A=++
If y i is on the curve (4), A Q = and one root of (14) is zero. If,
in addition, A^= and y i is not a singular point, z i lies on the tan
gent line to (4) and two roots of (14) are zero. If y i is a singular
point of the curve, A Q = and A^= for all values of 2; that is,
any line through a singular point of a curve intersects the curve in at
least two coincident points.
POINT AND LINE COOKDINATES IN A PLANE 53
, # 2 , # 8 ) is a homogeneous polynomial of the nth degree,
the locus of points satisfying (4) is denned as a curve of the nth
order. Equation (14) is then an algebraic equation of the nth
degree unless its lefthand member vanishes identically for all
values of X. Hence any curve of the nth order is cut by any straight
line in n points unless the straight line lies entirely on the curve.
32. Curves in line coordinates. The equations
f ^VV^iCO ^CO ^CO. C 1 )
where t is an independent variable and the ratios of the functions
<f>i(t) are not constant or indeterminate, define a onedimensional
extent of straight lines. We shall see that these lines determine
a curve in the sense of 31. Equations (1) are called the line
equations of that curve.
Proceeding as in 31 with the same hypotheses as to the nature
of the functions </>;(), we may show that equations (1) are
equivalent to the equation
Conversely, let there be given an equation
/(!,,, .)=<> (2)
where/ is a homogeneous function in u^ w g , u 3 ; we may show, as
in 31, that equation (2) defines a onedimensional extent of lines
of the type (1).
The discussion now proceeds dualistically to that in 31.
Let p(y^\ v^i v 8 ) and q(v^ + Ai^: v z + Av 2 : v^ + Ai> 3 ) be two straight
lines determined by placing t = t Q and t = t Q +At in (1). These
two lines determine a point K the coordinates of which satisfy the
two equations ^ + ^ + ^ = ,
( Vl + A Vl X + O 2 + Av 8 X+(i; 8 + &v 3 )x s = 0,
the solution of which is
Now let A approach zero. The line q approaches the line p, the
ratios A^: A^ 2 : A^ 3 approach the ratios dv^i dv^: dv^ and the point
K approaches the point Z, of which the coordinates are
54 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
By virtue of (3) and (1) the points L form in general a curve.
An exception would occur when the righthand ratios of (3) are
independent of t. In that case the points L for all lines of (1)
coincide.
If the extent of lines is defined by a single equation (2) the
coordinates of L may be put in another form, as follows : Since /
is a homogeneous function we have, by Euler s theorem,
But
whence
The coordinates of L are therefore
These equations determine a unique point on any line p unless
p is such a line that
J..o, lo, 1=0,
PVj <7^ 2 d7V g
in which case p is called a singular line.
Equations (4) also show that the points L form a curve unless
ftf
the ratios of the partial derivatives are constant in the neigh
dv {
borhood of v t . This would happen, for example, if
/= (^^4 a w s + a.Mj)^^, u ^ WB )
and v t . is any point which makes the first factor vanish. The points
L on all lines in the neighborhood of v i are then all a^i 2 : a g .
Leaving the exceptional case aside we have the theorem:
On any nonsingular line of a onedimensional extent of lines there
lies a unique point, called a limit point, the locus of which is in general
a curve. This curve is said to be defined in line coordinates by the
equation of the line extent. In special cases the curve may reduce to
a point or contain a number of points as parts of the curve.
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 55
In case we have a true curve of limit points it will be possible
to solve equations (4) for v l : v 2 : v s and substitute in (2). This
gives /ov <v .) = * <? f *,. *.) = ( 5 )
which is the equation in point coordinates of the locus of L.
From (5), rr = ^^ + jv_p + _v_pj
di , ^ 2 ,
*^9 o Q P
^, a.r. a^.y
where p is a proportionality factor and the last reduction is made
by means of (4). But since v^+ v z x z + v s x a we n ave
Therefore ^ = m t ..
a^
This shows that the tangent line to the curve (5) at the point
L is the line j?. Hence we have the theorem:
Each line of a onedimensional extent of lines is tangent at its
limit point to the curve which is the locus of the limit points. The
lines therefore envelop the curve.
Let us suppose now that in equation (2) / is an algebraic poly
nomial of the wth degree. Then the locus of the limit points L is
called a curve of the nth class. We shall prove that through any
point of the plane go n lines tangent to a curve of the nth class.
To do this we have to show that n lines satisfying equation
(2) go through any point of the plane. Now any point is fixed
by two lines v i and w i9 and any line through that point has the
coordinates t^.+ X^.. This line satisfies (2) when X satisfies the
equation /( ^ + ^ ^ + ^ ^ + ^ _ Q _
This is an equation of the wth degree, and the theorem is proved.
We have shown in this section that a onedimensional extent
of lines are in general the tangent lines to a curve. Conversely,
the tangent lines to any curve are easily shown to be a one
dimensional extent of lines. An exception occurs only when the
curve consists of a number of straight lines.
56
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The dualistic relation between point and line coordinates is
exhibited in the following restatement, in parallel columns, of the
results of 31 and 32:
An equation f(x v x 2 , # 8 ) = is
satisfied by a onedimensional ex
tent of points which lie on a curve.
A line joining two consecutive
points of the curve is tangent
to the curve. Its line coordinates
elimination of x 1 : x 2 : # 3 between
these equations and that of the
curve gives the line equation of
the curve.
The equation of the tangent
line to the curve defined by the
point extent is
/. , g /~ , /_ ,,
An equation f(u lt u 2 , u 8 ) = is
satisfied by a onedimensional ex
tent of lines which are tangent to
a curve. A point of intersection
of two consecutive lines is a point
on the curve. Its point coordinates
df df
are x. : x, : x a = f : f :
The
U Z :U B between
elimination of
these equations and that of the line
extent gives the point equation of
the curve.
The equation of a point on the
curve enveloped by the line ex
tent is
If / is of the nth degree the
curve is of the nth order.
On any line lie n points of the
curve.
The curve of the first order is
a straight line, the base of a pencil
of points. It is of zero class and
has no line equation.
If f is of the nth degree the
curve is of the nth class.
Through any point go n lines
which are tangent to the curve.
The curve of the first class is
a point, the vertex of a pencil of
lines. It is of zero order and has
no point equation.
EXERCISES
1 . Find the singular point of x? + x i x s x x s 0. Show that
through the singular point go two real lines which meet the curve in
three coincident points. Sketch the curve with special reference to its
relation with the triangle of reference. Also sketch the curve interpret
ing the coordinates as Cartesian coordinates and taking x s = 0, x 2 = 0,
x l = successively as the line at infinity.
2. Find the singular point of xf xx s = 0. Show that through it
go two coincident lines which meet the curve in three coincident points.
Sketch the curve as in Ex. 1.
POINT AND LINE COORDINATES IN A PLANE 57
3. Find the singular point of the curve x? + x?x s + x%x 8 = 0. Show
that through it go two imaginary lines which meet the curve in three
coincident points. Sketch the curve as in Ex. 1.
4. Find the line equation of each of the curves in Exs 13.
5. Show that any point whose coordinates satisfy the three equations
f = 0, ~ = 0, ^ = lies on the curve f= and is therefore a
dx^ dx 2 dx 9
singular point.
6. Show that the singular points of a curve in nonhomogeneous
<~\ /> o /,
Cartesian coordinates are given by ~ = 0, ^ = 0, provided the solu
tions of these equations also satisfy f(x, y) = 0. (Compare Ex. 5.)
Apply to find the singular points of x* 4 2/ 2 = & 2 and x 2 if = 0.
7. Show that through any point on a singular line of a line extent
go at least two coincident lines of the extent. Hence show that if the
extent envelops a curve of the ntli class, the singular lines are the
locus of a point such that at least two of the n tangents to the curve
from that point are coincident. Illustrate by considering the line extent
u} + ujij = 0.
8. If / (x v o? 2 , x s ) = is the equation of a curve and y^ : ?/ 2 : ?/ 3 is a
fixed point, show that the equation
represents a curve which passes through all the singular points of
/= and through all the points of tangency from y. to /= 0, but
intersects f = in no other points.
9. Prove that a curve of the third order can have at most one singu
lar point unless it consists of a straight line and a curve of second
order, or entirely of straight lines.
CHAPTER V
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS
33. Singular points of a curve of second order. By 31 a curve
of second order is denned by the equation
which can be more compactly written in the form
2)0*%==0 (=)
By the last theorem of 31 any straight line cuts a curve of
second order in two points or lies entirely on the curve.
It follows immediately that if the curve has singular points it
must consist of straight lines. For any line through a singular
point meets the curve in two points coincident with the singular
point, and if it passes through a third point of the curve it must
lie entirely on the curve.
We proceed to examine the singular points more closely, as
they are important in determining the nature of the curve.
By (12), 31, the singular points are the solutions of the
equations =
Let Z>, called the discriminant of equation (1), be defined by
*ii a i 2 a
There are then three cases in the discussion of equations (2).
CASE I. Z> = 0. Equations (2) have no solution, and the curve
has no singular point. This is the general case.
CASE II. D 0, but not all the first minors of D are zero.
Equations (2) have one solution, and the curve has one singular
point. Let that point be taken by a change of coordinates as the
58
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 59
point 0:0:1. The degree of the equation will not be changed
(29), but in the new equation we shall have 13 =0, # 28 =0,
# 38 =0. The equation therefore becomes
a u x?+ 2 a^x^ + V 2 2 = 0,
which can be factored into two linear factors. These factors can
not be equal, for if they were we should have u : & 12 = 12 : a^, and
equations (2), written for the new coordinates and new equation,
would have more than one solution. Hence the locus of (1) con
sists of two intersecting straight lines.
CASE III. D= 0, and all its first minors are zero. Any solution of
one of the equations (2) is a solution of the others, and the curve
has a line of singular points. If by a change of coordinates that
line is taken as the line x^= 0, we shall have in the new equation
a \z~ a is = a zz ~ a = a 38~ an d the equation becomes xf = 0. Hence
in this case the curve consists of two coincident straight lines.
Summing up, we have the following theorem :
A curve of the second order has in general no singular point. If it
has one singular point it consists of two straight lines intersecting in
that point. If it has a line of singular points it consists of that line
doubly reckoned.
The curves of second order in homogeneous coordinates are the
same as the conies in Cartesian coordinates, for, as shown in 29,
the degree of an equation is not altered by a change of coordinates.
We may on occasion distinguish between the conies without singu
lar points and those which consist of two straight lines by calling
the latter degenerate cases of the conic.
34. Poles and polars with respect to a curve of second order.
By (11), 31, if y i is a point on the conic (1), 33, the line
coordinates of the tangent at y i are
CO
P U 3= ^1+ a ^+ V*
Let us now drop the condition that y { is on the curve and consider
y, as any point of the plane, whether on the curve or not.
60 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Equations (1) then associate to any point y { a definite line u { .
This line is called the polar of the point, and the point is called
the pole of the line. The equation of the polar is
or, more compactly,
2} a *Vi x k = 0. (% = %) (2)
If y. is given, ^ is uniquely determined by (1); but if u t is given,
y i is determined only when equations (1) can be solved, that is,
when the discriminant Z>, 33, does not vanish. Hence,
/. To any point of the plane corresponds always a unique polar;
but to any line of the plane corresponds a unique pole when and only
when the curve has no singular point.
The following theorems are now easily proved :
II. The polar of a point on the curve is the tangent line at that
point and, conversely, the pole of any tangent to the curve is the point
of contact of the tangent.
It is obvious that equation (2) reduces to the equation of
the tangent when the point y i is on the curve. Conversely, if
equation (2) is that of a tangent to the curve, the solution
of equations (1) will give the point of contact.
///. The polar of a point passes through the point when and only
when the point is on the curve.
This follows from the fact that the substitution nr. = y i reduces
equation (2) to the equation of the curve.
IV. The polar of any point passes through the singular points of
the curve if such exist.
This follows from the fact that equation (2) can be written
^(n*i+i^+^
V. If a point P lies on the polar of a point Q, then Q lies on the
polar of P.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 61
If P is the point y i and Q is the point ,., the polar of P is
and that of Q is
The condition that P should lie on the polar of Q is
which is just the condition that Q should lie on the polar of P.
VI. If a curve of second order has no singular point, two tangents
may be drawn to the curve from any point not on it, and the chord con
necting the points of contact of these tangents is the polar of the point
of intersection of the tangents.
Let P (Fig. 15) be a point not on the curve. The polar of P,
being a straight line, cuts the curve in two points T and S. These
two points are distinct because by theorem II the polar is not
tangent, since P, by hypothesis, is not
on the curve.
Since by hypothesis the curve has
no singular point, it has a unique
tangent line at each of the points T
and S. These tangents are the polars
of their points of contact and hence by
theorem V pass through P. The polar
of P therefore passes through T and S
(theorem V).
There can be no more tangents
from P to the curve, for if there were,
the point of tangency would lie on TS by theorem V, and hence
TS would intersect the curve in more than two points, which is
impossible. The possibility that TS should lie entirely on the curve
is ruled out by the fact that in that case the curve would consist
of two straight lines and would have a singular point, which is
contrary to hypothesis.
This theorem as proved takes no account of the reality of the
lines and points concerned. In the case in which it is possible to
draw real tangents from P, however, the theorem furnishes an easy
method of sketching the polar of P.
FIG. 15
62
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
K
When real tangents cannot be drawn from P, as in Fig. 16, the
polar of P may be constructed as follows :
Through P draw two chords, one intersecting the curve in the
points R and S and the other intersecting the curve in the points
T and V. Draw the tangents
at the points R, S, T, and V,
and let the tangents at R and S
intersect at L and let the tan
gents at T and V intersect at K.
Then, by theorem VI, L is the
pole of RS, and K is the pole
of TV. Consequently the polar of
P passes through L and K and
is the line LK.
TIG. 10
VII. For a curve of second order
without singular points it is possible
in an infinite number of ways to construct triangles in which each side
is the polar of the opposite vertex. These are called selfpolar triangles.
We may take A (Fig. 17), any point not on the curve, and
construct its polar, which will not pass through A (theorem III)
and cannot lie entirely on the curve,
since the curve has no singular point.
We may then take Z?, any point on
the polar of A but not on the curve,
and construct its polar. This polar
will pass through A (theorem V) but
not through B (theorem III). The
two polars now found are distinct
lines (theorem I) and will intersect
in a point C. Draw AB. Then AB is
the polar of C by theorem V. The
triangle ABC is a self polar triangle.
VIII. If any straight line m is passed through a point P, and
R and S are the points of intersection of m with a curve of the
second order, and Q is the point of intersection of m with the polar
of P, then P and Q are harmonic conjugates with respect to R
and S.
FIG. 1
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 63
Let P (Fig. 18) be any point with coordinates y^ let p be the polar
of P, and let m be any line through P cutting p in Q and the curve
in R and S. Then, if z. are the coordinates of Q 9 the coordinates of
R and S are y^X^ and y i +\z i1 where \ and X 2 are the roots of
the equation
2, a i
obtained by substituting x i =y i +\z i in the equation of the curve.
FIG. 18
But since Q is on the polar of P, we have 2}%^= ^
therefore X t = X a . By 14 the theorem is proved.
This theorem gives a method of finding the polar of P when
the curve of second order consists of two straight lines intersecting
in a point (Fig. 19). Draw through P any straight line m inter
secting the curve in the points R and S, distinct from 0, and find
the point Q, the harmonic conjugate of P with respect to fi and S.
By theorem VIII, Q is on the polar of P, and by theorem IV the
polar of P passes through 0. Hence Q and determine the re
quired polar p.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that if a conic passes through the vertices of the triangle
of reference its equation is c^x^ c^a^f cjr.jr^= 0. Classify the conic
according to the nature of the coefficients c,.
2. Prove that if the triangle of reference is composed of two tan
gents to a conic and the chord of contact, the equation of the conic is
c i x i x s + C 2 X % = Classify the conic according to the nature of the
coefficients c.
64 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
3. Prove that the triangle formed by the diagonals of any complete
quadrangle whose vertices are in the conic is a selfpolar triangle.
4. Prove that the triangle whose vertices are the diagonal points
of a complete quadrilateral circumscribed about a conic is a selfpolar
triangle.
5. Prove that a range of points on any line is projective with the
pencil of lines formed by the polars of the points with respect to any conic.
6. If P 19 P 2 , P 3 are three points on a conic, prove that the lines Pc i P l
and P 2 P 3 are harmonic conjugates with respect to the tangent at P 2 and
the line joining P 2 to the point of intersection of the tangents at P 1 and P 3 .
7. If the sides of a triangle pass through three fixed points while
two of the vertices describe fixed lines, prove that the locus of the third
vertex is a conic.
8. The equation ./J+ A/ 2 =0, where / x and / 2 are quadratic poly
nomials and X is an arbitrary parameter, defines a pencil of conies.
Sketch the appearance of the pencil according to the different ways
in which the conies /j = and / 2 = intersect.
9. Prove that through an arbitrary point goes one and only one
conic of a given pencil and that two and only two conies of the pencil
are tangent to an arbitrary line. What points and lines are exceptional ?
10. Show that any straight line intersects a pencil of conies in a set
of points in involution. What are the fixed points of the involution ?
11. Prove that the polars of the same point with respect to the
conies of a pencil form a pencil of lines.
12. If the point P describes a straight line, prove that the vertex of
its polar pencil (Ex. 11) with respect to the conies of a pencil describes
a conic.
13. Prove that the locus of the poles of a straight line with respect
to the conies of a pencil is a conic.
14. Prove that the conies of a pencil of conies which intersect in
four distinct points have one and only one common selfpolar triangle.
15. Prove that the pole of the line at infinity is the center of the
conic unless the conic is tangent to the line at infinity.
16. Prove that the tangents to a central conic at the extremities of a
diameter are parallel.
17. Two lines are conjugate with respect to a conic if each passes
through the pole of the other. Prove that each of two conjugate
diameters is parallel to the tangents at the ends of the other. Prove
also that a system of parallel chords are all conjugate to the same
diameter and therefore bisected by it.
CURVES OF SECOND OKDEK AND SECOND CLASS 65
18. Consider a pencil of lines with its vertex at the center of a conic,
and an involution in the pencil such that corresponding lines in the
involution are conjugate diameters of the conic. Show that the fixed
lines of the involution are the asymptotes.
19. The foci are defined as the finite intersections of the tangents
from the circle points at infinity to any conic. Show that a real central
conic has four foci, two real and two imaginary, and that the real foci
are those considered in elementary analytic geometry.
35. Classification of curves of second order. We are now ready
to find the simplest forms into which the equation
can be put by a change of coordinates.
As before let us place
11 12 13
CASE I. D = 0. The curve has no singular points ( 33), and
there can be found an infinite number of selfpolar triangles
(VII, 34). Let one such triangle be taken as the triangle of
reference. Then, since the polar of 0:0:1 is the line x s = 0, we
shall have, in the new equation of the curve, # 13 = ^ 23 0. Since the
polar of :1: is x z = 0, we shall have 12 = a^= 0. Since the polar
of 1 : : is x l = 0, we shall have # 12 = a lg = 0. The equation of the
curve is therefore ^ + ^ + ^ = Q _ (2)
No one of the coefficients a n , 22 , a ss can be zero, for if it were
the curve would have a singular point.
If the coordinates of the original equation of the curve are real
and the new coordinates are referred to a real selfpolar triangle
with a real unit point, the coefficients a n , # 22 , and # 33 are real. We
may then distinguish two cases according as all or two of the signs
in (2) are alike. By replacing "v/Ja^ja^ by x t we have then two
types of equations, ^ + ^ + ^ = Q> (3)
af + ^a^O. (4)
The first equation represents a curve with no real points and
the other represents one which has real points. It is obvious that
no real substitution can reduce one equation to the other. Of
66 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
course the second equation can be reduced to the first by placing
x s = ix^ which does not involve imaginary axes but an imaginary
value of the constant k s . Summing up, we have the theorem :
A curve of second order ivhose equation has real coefficients and
which has no singular point is one of two types : an imaginary curve
the equation of which can be reduced to the form (3), and a real curve
the equation of which can be reduced to the form (4). If no account
is taken of imaginaries the equation of any curve of the second order
with no singular point can be reduced to the form (3).
CASE II. D = 0, but not all first minors of D are zero. The
curve has then one and only one singular point ( 33). This may
be taken as the point 0:0:1. Then a 13 = a^ a 8S 0. The points
0:1:0 and 1:0:0 may be taken in an infinite number of ways so
that each is on the polar of the other. Each of these polars passes
through 0:0:1 (IV, 34). Since 0:1:0 is the pole of x 2 = we
have a lz = in addition to a^ 0, as already found, which is also
the condition that 1:0:0 is the pole of x 1 = 0. The equation of
the curve is therefore
^\
. (5)
Neither of the coefficients a n or 22 can be zero, for if it were,
the curve would have more than one singular point.
Equation (5) may be reduced without the use of imaginary
quantities to one of the types
^ + ^ = 0, (6)
f r *?0. (7)
Summing up, we have the theorem:
A curve of the second order whose equation has real coefficients and
which has one singular point is one of two types : two imaginary straight
lines represented by equation (6) or two real straight lines represented
by equation (7). If no account is taken of imaginaries a curve of
second order with one singular point consists of two straight lines inter
secting in that point, and its equation may be put in the form (6).
CASE III. D 0, and all its first minors are zero. The curve has
then a line of singular points, and its equation may be reduced to
#* = ( 33). A curve of second order with a line of singular points
consists of that line taken double.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 67
EXERCISES
1. Apply the foregoing discussion to the classification of curves in
Cartesian coordinates, using x 3 = as the equation of the line at infinity.
Where does the parabola occur in the discussion ? (See Ex. 2, 34.)
2. Show from the foregoing that if an ellipse or a hyperbola is
x 2 if
referred to a pair of conjugate diameters, its equation is j^ = 1,
and conversely.
3. Show from the foregoing that if a parabola is referred to a diam
eter * and a tangent at the end of the diameter, the equation of the
parabola is y 2 = ax, and conversely.
4. Show that if a central conic does not pass through either of the
circle points at infinity, it has one and only one pair of conjugate
diameters which are orthogonal to each other.
5. Show that if a parabola does not pass through a circle point
at infinity one and only one pair of axes described in Ex. 4 will be
orthogonal. Write the equation of a parabola tangent to the line at
infinity in a circle point.
36. Singular lines of a curve of second class. Consider the curve
of second class defined by the equation in line coordinates
24^=0. (A ti = A ik ) (1)
By 32 the singular lines of this locus are defined by the
equations
Let A, called the discriminant of the curve (1), be defined by
the equation
A =
There are then three cases in the discussion of equations (2).
CASE I. A = 0. Equations (2) have no solution, and the curve
has no singular line. This is the general case.
*A diameter of a parabola is defined as a straight line through the point of
tangency of the parabola with the line at infinity.
68 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETKY
CASE II. A= 0, but not all the first minors of A are zero.
Equations (2) have one solution, and the curve has one singular
line. Let this line by a change of coordinates be taken as the line
0:0:1. The degree of the equation will not be changed, but in
the new equation we shall have A u = A 2S = A 83 = 0. The equation
therefore becomes A
A u vJ + 2A l . 2 u l u. 2 +A 22 u 2 = 0,
which can be factored into two linear factors. These factors can
not be equal, for if they were we should have A u : A 12 =A 12 : A^ and
equations (2), written for the new equation, would have more than
one solution. Each of the factors of (3) represents a pencil of
lines the vertex of which lies on the line x & = ; that is, on the
singular line of the locus of (1). Equation (1) is the line equation
of the two vertices of the pencils represented, and the singular line
is the line connecting these two vertices.
CASE III. A= 0, and all its first minors are zero. Any solution
of one of the equations (2) is a solution of the others, and the
curve has a pencil of singular lines. If by a change of coordinates
that pencil is taken as the pencil u^ 0, we shall have in the new
equation (1) A^=A IS =A 22 = A 2S = A 8S = 0, and the equation becomes
M* = 0. Hence in this case equation (1) is the equation of two
coincident points.
Summing up, we have the following theorem: A curve of the
second class has in general no singular line. If it has one singular
line it consists of two distinct points lying on that line. If it has a
pencil of singular lines it consists of the vertex of that pencil doubly
reckoned.
37. Classification of curves of second class. By 32 the limit
points of intersection of two lines of the locus
2)4t,.= (4*= 40 (1)
are given by the equations
There are again three cases corresponding to the cases of the
previous section.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 69
CASE I. A = 0. Equations (2) can be solved for u^ u 2 , and u s ,
and the results substituted in (1). But by aid of equations (2),
equation (1) can be replaced by the equation
The result of the substitution is therefore
X \ A \\ A 11 A IS
X 2 A U A 22 A K
= 0,
(4)
1 2 8
which may be written ^, a ik x i x k~ ^>
where a ik is the cofactor of A ik in the expansion of the determi
nant A.
This is the curve of second class enveloped by the lines which
satisfy equation (1). It appears that it is also a curve of second
order. Let
Al <*12 ^13
be the discriminant of (5). Then
AGO
D A =
A
A
A 8
and
We have therefore the following result: A curve of second class
with no singular line is also a curve of second order with no singular
point. The converse theorem is easily proved : A curve of second
order with no singular point is also a curve of second class with no
singular line.
Since the simplest equations of the curve of second order are
the simplest equations of the curve of second class are
70 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
CASE II. A= 0, but not all its first minors are zero. Equations
(2) have no solution, so that no point equation can be found for
the locus of the limit points on the lines of equation (1). In fact,
we have already seen that the limit points are two in number
only, the vertices of the two pencils of lines defined by (1). The
simplest forms into which equation (1) can be put without the
use of imaginary coordinates are obviously
CASE III. A= 0, and all first minors are equal to zero. We have
already seen that the simplest form of the equation in this case is
uf = 0.
38. Poles and polars with respect to a curve of second class.
Equations (2), 37, can be used to establish a relation between
any line u., whether or not it satisfies (1), 37, and a point x i de
fined by these equations. The point is called the pole of the line,
and the line is called the polar of the point with respect to the
curve of second class given by equation (1), 37. The following
theorem is then obvious :
To any line of the plane corresponds a distinct pole, but to any
point corresponds a distinct polar when and only when the discrim
inant of the curve of second class does not vanish.
This relation is dualistic to that of 34, and all theorems of that
section can be read with a change of " point " to " line," " pole " to
" polar," etc. We shall prove in fact that in case of a curve of second
order and second class without singular point or line the definitions of
poles and polars in 34 and 38 coincide.
This follows from the fact that the curve of second class defined by
^A ik u,u k =
is, when A = 0, the curve of second order
where a ik is the cof actor of A ik in A. Now, if equations (2), 37,
are solved for u^ u z , and u z , there result the equations (1), 34, and
the theorem is proved.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 71
In case a curve of second class consists of two points, by a
theorem dualistic to IV, 34, the pole of any line lies in the
singular line, which is the line connecting the two points. It may
be found by means of a theorem which is dualistic to VIII, 34, and
which may be worded as follows :
If any point M is taken on a
line p, and r and s are the lines
through M belonging to a curve
of second class, and q is the line
joining M to the pole of p, the
lines p and q are harmonic con
jugates with respect to r and s. FIG. 20
This theorem is illustrated in Fig. 20, which also suggests
the construction necessary to find P the pole of jt?, since P is the
intersection of q and the line 00 .
EXERCISES
1. If the three vertices of a triangle move on three fixed lines and
two of its sides pass through fixed points, the third side will envelop
a conic.
2. A range of conies is defined by the equation yj + X/ 2 = 0, where
f^ = and f 2 = are the equations in line coordinates of two conies.
Discuss the appearance of the range.
3. Prove that there is in general one and only one conic of a range
which is tangent to a given line and two and only two conies of a
range which pass through a given point. What are the exceptional lines
and points ?
4. Prove that for a given range all tangents through a fixed point
form a pencil in involution with itself.
5. Prove that for a given range of conies the poles of a fixed straight
line form a range of points.
6. If a straight line in Ex. 5 turns about a point, show that the base
of the range of its polar points envelop a conic.
7. Prove that the centers of the conies of a range lie on a straight
line.
8. Prove that the conies of a range with four distinct common
tangents have one and only one selfpolar triangle.
72 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
39. Projective properties of conies. We shall prove the following
theorems which are connected with the curves of second order and
involve projective pencils or ranges.
/. The points of intersection of corresponding lines of two projective
pencils which do not have a common vertex generate a curve of second
order which passes through the vertices of the pencils.
Without loss of generality we may take the vertices of the two
projective pencils as ^4(0 : : 1) and (7(1 : : 0) (Fig. 21) respec
tively, and may take the point of intersection of one pair of
corresponding lines as J5(0 : 1 : 0). The
two pencils are then
t^+** B
and x 2 +\ f x s = 0,
where X =  % The point B lies on
7 A, + o A
the line of the first pencil, for which
X = 0, and on the line of the second
pencil, for which X = oc. Since these are
V V Xl_ A. L FlG 21
corresponding lines in the projectivity,
we have B = 0. Then /3 and y cannot vanish, owing to the condition
a8 (3y = 0. Now, if x l : x z : x s is a point on two corresponding lines
of the pencils, we have X =  > X =  2 , and hence
The point x.x : x therefore lies on a curve of second order.
i 123
Conversely, if y l : y z : y z is a point on this curve of second order,
a+fi*
v y
we have = 
y* y
But the line joining y. to A has the parameter X = and
y
the line joining y i to B has the parameter X = , and conse
quently X =  Hence the point y { is the intersection of
two corresponding lines of the two projective pencils.
That the curve of second order with the equation (1) passes
through A and C is obvious. Hence the theorem is proved.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 73
If a = the curve (1) reduces to the two straight lines x 2 =
and 72^ /3^ 3 = 0, and the two pencils are in perspective ( 16).
Equation (1) may be written in the more symmetrical form
or
(2)
II. The lines connecting corresponding points of two projective
ranges which do not have the same base envelop a curve of second
class which is tangent to the bases of the two ranges.
This is dualistic to I. We may take the bases of the two ranges
as a(0 : : 1) and c(l : 0: 0) (Fig. 22) respectively, and a line
connecting two pairs of corresponding points as 5(0:1: 0). The
line equations of points on the
two ranges are then
and w 2 h\ w 3 =0,
where, as for I,
X/= *XHK
The lines connecting corre
sponding points then satisfy
an equation of the form
or
u
FIG. 22
Conversely, any line satisfying this equation is a line connecting
corresponding points of the two ranges.
When a = the equation factors into u^ and 7^ /3u 8 = 0,
and the two ranges are in perspective.
///. Any two points on a curve of second order without singular
lines may be used as the vertices of two generating pencils.
No three points of the curve lie in a straight line. Hence any
three points on the curve may be taken as the vertices of the
coordinate triangle ABC. The equation of the curve is then of
the form ^ r 0.^^^ * cxx =0, (4)
where c^ c a , e g are not zero, since the curve has no singular point.
74 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The equation of any line through A is x l + \x 2 = and that of
any line through C is x z + V# 8 = 0. If these lines intersect on (4)
we have g.X^
c s \
The correspondence of lines of the pencil with vertex A and
those of the pencil with vertex C is therefore projective. This
proves the theorem.
IV. Any two tangent lines to a curve of second class without singular
points may be taken as the bases of two projective generating ranges.
This is dualistic to theorem III.
V. If any point of a curve of second order without singular points
is connected with any four points on the curve, the cross ratio of the
four connecting lines is constant for the curve. If any tangent line to
a curve of second class without singular lines is intersected by any
four tangents, the cross ratio of the four points of intersection is
constant for the curve.
This is a corollary to theorems III and IV.
VI. One and only one curve of second order can be passed through
five points, no four of which lie in a straight line.
Let the five points be %, P z , P A , P^ and P 5 (Fig. 23).
From PI, which cannot be in the same straight line with P^P*, and
P, draw the lines Pf^, P^P Z , P^P ; and from P 5 , which also cannot be
collinear with P z , P z , P, draw P b P z , P 5 P 3 , P^.
Then there exists one and only one pro
jectivity (I, 13) between the pencil with
vertex JJ and that with vertex P b in which
the line J?P Z corresponds to Jj?JJ, the line
%% to P,P S , and the line P^ to JJ.JJ. The
intersection of corresponding lines of these
FIG. 23
projective pencils determine a curve ol
second order through the five given points. Since any two points
on the curve may be taken as the vertices of the generating pencils,
only one curve can be passed through the points.
VII. One and only one curve of second class can be constructed
tangent to five lines no four of which meet in a point.
This is dualistic to theorem VI.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 75
VIII. Pascal s theorem. If a hexagon is inscribed in a curve of
second order, the points of intersection of opposite sides lie on a
straight line.
By a hexagon is meant in this theorem the straightline
figure formed by connecting in order the six points P^ P v P z , P 4 ,
JJ, jP, taken anywhere on the curve of second order (Fig. 24).
The opposite sides are then P^ and
pp ~P~P anrl PP PP iinrl PP
JT. 1 , ^i dllLl _rg, JT^JL. dllU. *8M
respectively.
We shall first assume that the curve
is without singular points. Then the
points .ZJ, J^, and P 6 do not lie on a
straight line and may be taken as the
vertices of the triangle of reference.
Let P 1 be the point (0:0:1), P 3
the point (0:1: 0), and P 5 the point p \
(1:0: 0). Then the equation of the
curve is, by (2),
r +  + T = 0 (5)
Let P% have the coordinates $
P the coordinates 2 f , and J^ the
coordinates w { . Then, since the three points P,,
on the curve (4), we have
L JL 1
y\ y* y*
III
111
W, W^ IV,
FIG. 24
and  lie
= 0.
(6)
The equation of the line P^ is y^ y^ z = and that of Pf b
is z 3 x^ z 2 xf oThey intersect in the point :!: Similarly, the
lines PE and PP intersect in the point :  : 1 and the lines
76
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
P.P. and R P. intersect in the point !:*:* The condition that
w t i
these three points lie on a straight line is
= 0,
which is readily seen to be the same as equation (6).
If the curve of second order consists of two intersecting straight
lines, the theorem is still true, but the proof needs modification.
When the points ^, J, and ^ lie on one of the straight lines
and P^, P, % lie on the other, we have the theorem of Pappus
(VII, 30). Other distributions of the points on the straight
lines are trivial.
IX. Brianchorfs theorem. If a hexagon is circumscribed about a curve
of second class, the lines connecting opposite vertices meet in a point.
This is dualistic to VIII, and the proof is left to the student.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the center of homology (see Ex. 9, 30) of two pro
jective pencils of lines is the intersection of the tangents at the vertices
of the pencils to the conic generated by the pencils.
2. Prove that the axis of homology (see Ex. 10, 30) of two pro
jective ranges is the line joining the points of contact of the bases of
the ranges with the conic generated by the ranges.
3. Show that the lines drawn through a fixed point intersect a conic
in a set of points in involution, the fixed points of the involution being
the points of contact of the tangents from the fixed point.
4. Prove that if two triangles are inscribed in the same conic they
are circumscribed about another conic, and conversely.
5. Prove that if a pentagon is inscribed in a conic the intersections
of two pairs of nonadjacent sides and the intersection of the fifth side
and the tangent at the opposite vertex lie on a straight line.
6. State and prove the dualistic theorem to Ex. 5.
CURVES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 77
7. Prove that if a quadrilateral is inscribed in a conic the inter
sections of the opposite sides and of the tangents at the opposite
vertices lie on a straight line.
8. State and prove the dualistic theorem to Ex. 6.
9. If a quadrilateral A BCD is inscribed in a conic and L is the
intersection of the tangent at A and the side BC, K is the intersection
of the tangent at B and the side AD, and M is the intersection of the
sides AB and CD, prove that Z, K, and M lie on a straight line.
10. State and prove the dualistic theorem to Ex. 8.
11. If a triangle is inscribed in a conic, prove that the intersections of
the tangents at the vertices with the opposite sides lie on a straight line.
12. State and prove the dualistic theorem to Ex. 12.
13. Prove that the complete quadrangle formed by four points of
a conic has, as diagonal points, the points of intersection of the
diagonal lines of the complete quadrilateral formed by the tangents
at the vertices of the complete quadrangle.
CHAPTER VI
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
40. Collineations. A collineation in a plane is a point trans
formation ( 5) expressed by the equations
a 12 x 2 +
px 2 = a 2l x L + a 22 x 2 + V 3 , (1)
px 3 = (1^+ a S2 x 2 + a S3 x s .
If the determinant \a ik \ is not equal to zero, these equations can
be solved for x { , with the result
ax l = A u x( 4 A 2l x 2 + A sl x 3 ,
ax 2 = A 12 x[ + A 22 x f 2 + A S2 x 3 , (2)
where J tt is the cof actor of a ik in the expansion of  a lk and where
Ml*o.
If the determinant a iA; =0, equations (2) cannot be obtained
from (1). For this reason it is necessary to divide collineations
into two classes:
1. Nonsingular collineations, for which %^0.
2. Singular collineations, for which # ijfc =0.
We shall consider only nonsingular collineations in this text,
though some examples of singular collineations will be found in
the exercises.
It is obvious that for a nonsingular collineation x { cannot have
such values in (1) that x[ = x 2 x s = 0. Hence by (1) any point x i
is transformed into a unique point x[. Similarly, from (2) any
point x\ is the transformed point of a unique point x t .
Consider now a straight line with the equation
78
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 79
All points #,., which satisfy this equation, will be transformed into
points x\, which satisfy the equation
where, by (2),
It appears then that any straight line with coordinates u t is
transformed by (1) into a unique line with coordinates u\. Also,
equations (3) may be solved for u { with the result
Xw 1= a u u[ 4 a 2 X + 8 X
Xtt 2 = 12 Wj + 2 X + 32 W 3 (4)
Xw 3 = a l3 u[ 4 aX 4 gX
from which it appears that any line is the transformed line of a
unique line.
Equations (3) express in line coordinates the same transforma
tion that is expressed by equations (1) in point coordinates. For
it is easy to see that by equations (3) any pencil of lines with the
vertex x { is transformed into a pencil of lines with the vertex x\ and
that the relation between x { and x\ is exactly that given by equa
tions (1). Equations (3), therefore, which express a transformation
of straight lines into straight lines, also afford a transformation of
points into points in a sense dualistic to that in which equations (1)
afford a transformation of straight lines into straight lines.
We will sum up the results thus far obtained in the following
theorem :
I. By a nomingular collineation in a plane every point is trans
formed into a unique point and every straight line into a unique
straight line and, conversely, every point is the transformed point of a
unique point and every straight line the transformed line of a unique
straight line.
Consider now a collineation R l by which any point x i is trans
formed into the point x(, where
and let R 2 be a collineation by which any point x\ is transformed
into xl\ where ,,
80 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Then the product R Z R 1 is a substitution of the form
which is a collineation. Hence the product of two collineations is
a collineation.
Moreover, if R 1 is as above and R 2 is of the form
the product RM. is .. ..
2 TX = X, TX = X a , TX = X~.
1 I  2 " ** *
which is the identical substitution. Hence in this case R Z is the
inverse substitution to R l and is denoted by R^ 1 . Our work shows
that the inverse transformation to a collineation always exists and
is itself a collineation.
These considerations prove the following theorem :
//. The totality of nonsingular collineations in a plane form a group.
We shall now prove the following theorems :
///. If II, P 2 , PS, P are any four arbitrarily assumed points, no three
of which are on the same straight line, and l, P 2 , P 3 r , P are also
four arbitrarily assumed points, no three of which lie on a straight
line, there exists one and only one collineation by means of which jFJ is
transformed into P^ , P 2 into Pi, P s into P%, and P into P^.
To prove this we will first show that one and only one collinea
tion exists which transforms the four fundamental points of the
coordinate system, namely ^(0 : : 1), J5(0 : 1 : 0), (7(1 : : 0), and
/ (1 : 1 : 1), respectively, into four arbitrary points P^ (o^ : a 2 : # 3 ),
P 2 (ft : ft : ft), P a ( 7l : 7a : 7s ), and P, (8, : S 2 : S 8 ), no three of which
lie on a straight line.
By substituting in equation (1) the coordinates of correspond
ing points, remembering that the factor p may have different values
for different pairs of points, we have the following equations out
of which to determine the coefficients a ik :
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 81
By substitution from equations (5) in equations (6) we have
which may be solved for pj p 2 : p s : p^. Since no three of the points
JJ, P 2 , J^, 7J lie on a straight line no determinant of the third
order formed from the matrix
can vanish, and hence no one of the factors p. can be zero. The
values of p^ p z , p s , and p 4 having thus been determined except for
a constant factor, the values of the coefficients a ik can be found
from (5) except for this same factor. Hence the collineation (1)
is uniquely determined, since only the ratios of a ik in (1) are
essential.
Let it now be required to transform the four points P, P^ JJ, P 4 ,
no three of which are on a straight line, into the four points P,
1%, PJ, PJ, respectively, no three of which are on a straight line.
As we have seen, there is a unique collineation E l which transforms
A, B, C, I into jf, P 2 , J^, JJ respectively, and a unique collinea
tion R z which transforms A, B, C, I into If, P 2 , JJ , P 4 r respectively.
Then the collineation j^" 1 (theorem II) exists and transforms
P 1 , P 2 , P%, PI into A, B, C, I respectively. The product R. 2 R l is
a collineation (theorem II) which transforms JJ, P 2 , P 8 , P into
PI, Pj, P^, PJ respectively. Moreover, this is the only collineation
which makes the desired transformation. For let R be a collinea
tion which does so. Then R~ 1 R transforms Jj% ZJ, P s , P into
A, B, C, I respectively. Hence
whence R = R 2 Ri l .
This establishes the theorem. It is not necessary that all the
points 7^, P 2 , P z , P 4 should be distinct from the points PJ, PJ, Pj, P.
In the special case in which P^ is the same as 7J ; , Jo tne same as
82 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETKY
PJ, P z the same as JJ , and P the same as P, R l = R 2 and R is
the identical substitution. Hence we have as a corollary to the
above theorem:
IV. Any collineation with four fixed points no three of which are in
the same straight line is the identical substitution.
V. Any nonsingular collineation establishes a projectivity between
the points of two corresponding ranges and the lines of two correspond
ing pencils, and any such projectivity may be established in an infinite
number of ways by a nonsingular collineation.
To prove the first part of the theorem let the point y { be trans
formed into y\ and the point z f be transformed into z t by the collinea
tion (1), so that
Then y { f \z { is transformed into f t , where
ftfi = a i i G/i + **i) + i 2 O* + ** 2 ) + , 3 Q/3 + ^3)
= />!*/! +VA ;
whence of i = ?/J + A/^
where X/=^
Pi
This establishes a projectivity between the points of the range
y i + \z i and those of the range y\ f X gJ . By the use of line coordinates
and equations (3) the proof may be repeated for the lines of a pencil.
To prove that there are an infinite number of nonsingular col
lineations which establish a given projectivity between the points
of two ranges, it is only necessary to show that there are an infinite
number of collineations which transform any three points P, $, R
lying on a straight line into any three points P\ Q\ R , also on a
straight line, and apply III, 15.
To prove this, draw through R any straight line and take S and
T two points on it. Draw also through R any straight line and
take S and T any two points on it.
Then by theorem III there exists a collineation which trans
forms the four points P, Q, S, T into the four points P , # , S , T ,
and this collineation transforms R into R . Since S, T and S r , T 1
are to a large extent arbitrary, there are an infinite number of
required collineations.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
83
If it is required to determine a collineation which establishes a
projectivity between two given pencils of lines, this may be done
by establishing a projectivity between two ranges, each of which
is in perspective with one of the pencils. Since this may be done
in an infinite number of ways, there are an infinite number of the
required collineations.
41. Types of nonsingular collineations. A collineation has a, fixed
point when #/=#, in equations (1), 40. The fixed points are
therefore given by the equations
.  /O X z
CO
The necessary and sufficient conditions that these equations have
a solution is that p should satisfy the equation
= 0.
(2)
Similarly, the fixed lines of the collineation are given by the
equations  
and the necessary and sufficient condition that these equations
have a solution is
= 0.
Equations (2) and (4) are the same and will be written
(4)
= 0. (5)
Now let p l be a root of (5). Then p l cannot be zero, since by
hypothesis  a ik \ = 0. The root p l is a double root when
nPi a i* _ a nPi a u = (6)
a o a a
31 33 "\ 2 1 22 ri
and it is a triple root when
/"O,)= 2 [(/,)+ (/>,)+ (/,)]= 0. (7)
:
84 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
We may now distinguish three cases :
1. When all the first minors of the determinant f(jp^) do not vanish.
Equations (1) and (3) have each a single solution. The collineation
has then a single"!ixecl. point and a singly fixed line corresponding to
the value p r The root /> may be a simple, a double, or a triple root
of (5), according as equations (6) and (7) are or are not satisfied.
2. When all the first minors of f(jp^) vanish, but not all the
second minors vanish. Equations (1) and (3) contain then a single
independent equation. The collineation has then a line of fixed
points and a pencil of fixed lines corresponding to the value p^
The root p l is at least a double root of (5) since equation (6) is
necessarily satisfied, and it may or may not be a triple root.
3. When all the second minors of f(jp^) vanish. Equations (1)
and (3) are satisfied ,by all values of x i anjl u { respectively, and
the collineation leaves all points and Twines fixed. The root p 1 is then
a triple root of (5) since equations (6) and (7) are satisfied.
From this it follows that a collineation has as^many fixed lines as
fixed points and as many pencils of fixed lines as lines of fixed points.
From 12 it follows also that in every fixed line lies at least one
fixed point and that through every fixed point goes at least one fixed
line. The line connecting two fixed points is fixed and the point common
to fixed lines is fixed.
We are now prepared to classify collineations according to their
fixed points and to give the simplest form to which the equations
of each type may be reduced. We will first notice, however, that
if the point x. 0, x s = 0, x k =\ is fixed, then by (1), 40,
a ik = a jk = ; and if the line x k = is fixed, then a ki = a kj = 0.
A. Collineations with at least three fixed points not in the same
straight line. Take the fixed points as the vertices A, B, C of the
triangle of reference. Then the collineation is
px( = a n x r
px 2 =
No one of the coefficients can be zero, since the collineation is
nonsingular, but they may or may not be equal. We have then
the following types, in writing which different letters are used to
indicate quantities which are not equal.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 85
TYPE I. px( ax v
p4 = 1v
px f 3 = cx v
The collineation has only the fixed points A, B, C and the
fixed lines AB, BC, and CD.
TYPE II. P x[ = ax,,
P4 = ax 2 ,
px 8 = cx s .
The collineation has the fixed point A, the line of fixed points
BC, the fixed line BC, and the pencil of fixed lines with vertex A.
It is called a homology.
TYPE III. px[ = x
All points and lines are fixed. It is the identical transformation.
B. Collineations with at least two distinct fixed points, but no others
not in the same straight line. We will take the two fixed points
as A (0 : : 1) and C (1 : : 0) of the triangle of reference. The
collineation has at least two distinct fixed lines one of which is AC.
The other must contain one of the fixed points, and we will take
it as BC (# 3 = 0). The collineation is then
px! 2 =
Here a 12 = or we should have case A. We shall place 12 =1.
The equation (5) is now ( n /3)( 22 /3)( 33 />)= 0. Placing
P ~ a w we h ave as ^ ne equations to determine the corresponding
fixed point
Since by hypothesis every fixed point lies on # 2 = 0, we have
a n = a 22 * ^ ^ s l 6 ^ undetermined whether 83 is or is not equal to a^.
Hence we have two new types.
86 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
TYPE IV. px( = ax l + # 2 ,
px! 2 =
The collineation has only the fixed points A and C and the
fixed lines AC and BC.
TYPE V. px( = ax l + x. 2 ,
px[ 2 = ax. 2 ,
The collineation has the line of fixed points AC and the pencil
of fixed lines with its vertex at C.
In either Type IV or V the point B may be taken at pleasure
on the line BC.
C. Collineations with only one fixed point. Take the fixed point as
C (1:0:0). The collineation has also a fixed line which must
pass through C. Take it as BC (# 3 = 0). The collineation is now
Equation (5) is now ( u /3)( 22 />) ( 33 / > )= 0, and since
by hypotheses C is the only fixed point, we have a n = a 22 ^= 33 .
The point A (0:0:1) taken at pleasure is transformed into
A ( 13 : a zs : 33 ), and if we take the line AA f as x l = 0, we have
13 = 0. The coefficients 12 and a 23 cannot vanish or we have the
/>
previous cases. We may accordingly replace x z by 2 and x ^ by
x 12
^ and have, finally,
iA 8
TYPE VI.* px( = ax l + x v
px 2 = a
*The above classification has been made by means of geometric properties.
The reader who is familiar with modern algebra should compare the classifica
tion by means of Weierstrass s elementary divisors. Cf . Bocher s " Higher Algebra,"
p. 292.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 87
EXERCISES
1. Find the fixed points and determine the type of collineation to
which each of the following transformations in Cartesian coordinates
belong : (a) a translation, (&) a rotation about a fixed point, (c) a reflection
on a straight line.
2. Determine the group of collineations in Cartesian coordinates
which leaves the pair of straight lines x 2 y^= invariant and discuss
the subgroups.
3. Are two collineations with the same fixed points always commu
tative ? Answer for each type.
4. Consider the singular collineations. Prove that there is always a
point or a line of points for which the transformed point is indeter
minate. We shall call this the singular point or line. If there is a
singular point, every other point is transformed into a point on a fixed
line which may or may not pass through the singular point. If there
is a singular line, every point not on the line is transformed into a
fixed point which may or may not lie on the singular line. Prove these
facts and from them show that the singular collineations consist of the
following types :
I. One singular point P, a fixed line p not through P, two fixed
points on p. ,
II. One singular point P, a fixed line not through P, one fixed
III. One singular point P, a singular line p not through P, all points
of p fixed. ,
= x.
IV. One singular point P, a fixed line p through P, one point oip fixed.
px[ = x s)
0t*/2 U./2 j
88 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
V. One singular point P, a fixed line^? through P, no point of p fixed.
px[ = x 2 ,
px 2 = x a ,
,4=0.
VI. A singular line p, a fixed point P on p.
px[ = x s ,
P x 2 = 0,
P ^=0.
VII. A singular line p, a fixed point P not on p.
42. Correlations. The equations
2 x 2 + a ls x s ,
0)
pu(= a
where x i are point coordinates and u are line coordinates, define
a transformation of a point into a line. Such a transformation is
called a correlation. As in the case of collineations, we shall dis
tinguish between nonsingular and singular correlations according
as the determinant  %  does not or does vanish, and shall consider
only nonsingular correlations. Equations (1) can then be solved for
x, with the result
where A ik is the cof actor of a ik in the determinant  a ik \. Every
straight line w/ is therefore the transformed element of a point x.
Consider now the points of a line given by the equation
where u. are constants. By (2) these points go into a pencil of
lines the vertex of which is the point #/, where
(3)
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 89
We may express this by saying that the line u< is transformed
into the point x . Also, since equations (3) can be solved for u.
with the result
every point is the transformed element of one and only one line.
Since equations (2), (3), and (4) are consequences of equations
(1), we shall consider them as given with (1) and sum up our
results in the following theorem:
7. A nonsingular correlation defined by equations (1) is a trans
formation by which each point is transformed into a straight line and
each straight line into a point, in such a manner that points which lie on
a straight line are transformed into straight lines which pass^ through a
point, and lines which pass through a point are transformed into points
which lie on a straight line. Each line or point is transformed into one
point or line and is the transformed element of one line or point.
Consider now a correlation S l by which a point x { is transformed
into a line u!, and let S be a correlation by which the line u( is
transformed into a point x". It is clear that the product S^ is a
linear transformation by which the point x i is transformed into the
point x" ; that is, a collineation. Therefore the correlations do not
form a group. It is evident, however, that the inverse transformation
of any correlation exists and is a correlation.
We can therefore prove the following theorems :
77. If Jf, P z , P z , P are four arbitrary points, no three of which lie
on a straight line, and if p^ p z ,p z , P 4 are four arbitrary lines, no three
of which pass through a point, there exists one and only one correla
tion by means of which P l is transformed into p^, P 2 into p z , P s into p s ,
and P into p 4 , and there exists also one and only one correlation by
means of which p r is transformed into JFJ, p 2 into P 2 , p s into P%, and
/(into P 4 .
III. Any nonsingular collineation establishes a projectivity between
te points of a range and the lines of a corresponding pencil, and any
ch projectivity may be established in an infinite number of ways by
a correlation.
90 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The proofs of these theorems are the same as those of the cor
responding theorems of 40 and need not be repeated.
By equations (1) a point x { lies on the line u!, into which it is
transformed when and only when
+ (<**,+ a 2 )*A= (5)
That is, allies on a conic K^
Similarly, from equations (3) a line u. passes through the point
x i9 into which it is transformed when and only when
,= o. (6)
That is, u. envelops a conic K^.
It is evident that the conies K^ and K Z are not in general the
same. Their exact relations to each other will be determined later
in this section. In the meantime we state the above result in
the following theorem :
IV. In the case of any nonsingular correlation the points which lie
on their transformed lines are points of a certain conic, and the lines
which pass through their transformed points envelop a certain conic,
which, in general, is not the same as the first.
Any point P of the plane may be considered in a twofold manner :
as either an original point which is transformed by the correlation
into a line or as a transformed point obtained from an original
line. If P is an original point it corresponds to a line p 1 whose
coordinates are given by (1). If P is a transformed point it corre
sponds to a line p whose coordinates are given by (4), in which we
must replace x[ by ar f , the coordinates of P.
The lines p and p do not in general coincide. When they do
the line p and the point P are called a double pair of the correlation.
That P should be a point of a double pair it is necessary and suffi
cient that the coordinates u[ and w t . of equations (1) and (4) should
be proportional; that is, that the coordinates of P should sa^ ^fy
the equations ^
On  P a J x i + 12  P a J x * + Ois  P a J \ =
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 91
where p is an unknown factor. For these equations to have a solu
tion it is necessary and sufficient that p should satisfy the equation
* u P*ii
= 0. (8)
The correlations may be classified into types according to the
nature of the double pairs and of the conies K^ and K^. As a pre
liminary step we shall prove the theorem :
V. If the point P and the line p form a double pair, then p is the
polar of P with respect to the conic K^.
To prove this let the coordinates of P be y^ where y t is the solution
of (7) for p p^ and let v i be the coordinates of p. Then v i is deter
mined from (1) when x { is replaced by y { . Then from (1) and (7) we
have x i , N .
whence
/ \ 1 \
v pJ v
These last equations are exactly those which determine the polar
of P with respect to K^ and the theorem is proved.
We now proceed to the classification.
A. Let K l be a nondegenerate conic. By a proper choice of coordi
nates its equation can be put in the form
so that a n = a^= 0, 81 = 18 a 82 = ~ a ^ a \z^ ~~ a zi
If there is at least one double pair of which the point is not on the
conic, it may be taken as A (0 : : 1) without changing the form of
equation (9). We shall then have 18 = 23 = 0. The correlation is
now expressed by the equations
pui = a n :
Neither a w nor 21 can be zero. There are then two types accord
ing as 12 and 21 are or are not equal :
TYPE I. pu( = ax 21
K = ax v
92
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The conic K l has now the equation # 3 2 f2 ax^ 2 = Q^ and the correla
tion is a polarity with respect to this conic. Conversely, any polarity
with respect to a nondegenerate conic can be expressed in this form.
The equation (8) now becomes 2 (1 p)*= 0, and equations (7)
are identically satisfied when p = 1. Hence in a polarity every cor
related point and line form a double pair. The equation (6) now
becomes au+ %UjU 2 = 0, which is the line equation of K. Henc
in a polarity the conies K^ and K^ coincide.
TYPE II. pu[ = ax z ,
) pu , = bx^
The conic 7f 2 has the line equation
or the point equation
and the relation of the two conies K^ and K z is as in Fig. 25. Equa
tion (8) becomes (\_ \ / _ j WA _ ^
which has three unequal roots. The correlation has accordingly
three double pairs : namely, the point A and the line BC, the point
B and the line AB, the point
C and the line AC.
Types I and II arise from
the assumption that there is
a double pair of which the
point lies outside the conic.
If there is no such pair, there
must be at least one of which
the point lies on the conic.
In this case take the point as J, IG
B (0 : 1 : 0) without changing
the form of equation (9). By theorem V the line of the double
pair which contains B is the tangent BA. Then, from (1), a^= 0.
We have before seen that # 23 = 82 , so that the correlation is now
f .
pu l = 12 3^ # 13 # 3 ,
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
93
The coefficient # 13 cannot be zero or we should have the previous
case. The equation (8) is now ( 12 pa zl ) ( 21 /^ 12 ) (1 p) = 0,
and the solution p = 1 would give a point not on K^ contrary to
hypothesis, unless 21 = la . We have, finally, for the equations of
the correlation:
TYPE III.
K =
K =
pu( = bx l + x#
where a = b is not excluded. The line equation of JT 2 is now
5 2 w 2 2 cful 2 au^ = 0,
and the corresponding point equation is
The two conies K l and 7f 2 lie therefore in the position of Fig. 26.
The equation (8) for p has the triple root /> = !, and the cor
relation has only one double pair consisting of the line point B
and the line AB.
B. Let the conic K^ degenerate
into two intersecting straight
lines. We may take the equa
tions of the lines in the form
whence
FlG
The point B is again taken
as the point of a double pair
and is therefore transformed into a line through B, and if we
take that line as 2^= we have, from (1), a 32 = 0. The equation (8)
where 12 cannot be zero since the correlation is nonsingular.
The root p = 1 gives the point B as a point of a double pair.
The root p = 1 gives the point : a u : a 12 , and if this be taken as
A we have #,= 0.
94
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
We have then, finally,
TYPE IV. pu[ =
bx
pu = *
where the equality of the coefficients is not excluded.
The conic K Z has now the equation
aul 4 b 2 u 2 = 0,
which is that of two pencils with their vertices on AB. The relation
of K I and jfif 2 is shown in Fig. 27.
C. Let the conic K^ degenerate into two
coincident straight lines. Take the equa A
tion of K l as x i _ Q^
The discussion proceeds as in the pre
vious case with the coefficient a placed
equal to zero. We have, accordingly,
TYPE V.
=  bx
2 ,
pu 2 =
FIG. 27
The conic K 2 has the equation u* = 0, which is that of a double
pencil of lines with the vertex A. The relation of the two conies
JTj and JT 2 is shown in Fig. 28. The equation (8) now becomes
The root p = 1 gives the point A as
a point of a double pair of which the
line is BC. The root p = 1 gives
any point on the line J5(7, so that if M
is any point on BC it is a point of a ~~
double pair the line of which is AM. /
EXERCISES
FIG. 28
1. Find the square of each of the different types of correlations and
determine the type of collineation to which it belongs.
2. Prove that if P is a point on K l the two tangents drawn from P
to K 2 are the two lines to which P corresponds in the correlation
according as P is considered as an original point or a transformed point.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 95
3. Prove that if p is a tangent to K 2 the two points in which p inter
sects K^ are the two points to which p corresponds in the correlation
according as p is considered as an original line or a transformed line.
4. Take any point P. Show that the line into which P is transformed
by a correlation of Types II, III, V is a line which connects two of the
four points of intersection with K l of the two tangents drawn from P
to K 2 . Show also that the line which is transformed into P is another line
connecting the same four points of intersection. Determine these two
lines more exactly and explain the construction in Type IV.
5. Take any line p. Show that the point into which p is transformed
by a correlation of Types II, III, V is one of the four points of inter
section of the four tangents drawn to K 2 from the points in which p
intersects A^. Show also that another of these points of intersection is
the point which is transformed into p. Determine these points more
exactly and explain the construction in Type IV.
6. Show that if every point lies in the line into which it is trans
formed by a correlation, the correlation is a singular one of the form
h a
Study the correlation.
43. Pairs of conies. The preceding results may be given an
interesting application in studying the relation of two conies to
each other, especially with reference to points and lines which are
the poles and polars of each other with respect to both the conies.
Let
and ]W*=0 (2)
be two conies without singular points. The product of a polarity
with respect to (1) and a polarity with respect to (2) is a non
singular collineation which may be expressed by the equations
(3)
The fixed points of the collineation (3) are identical %ith the
points which have the same polars with respect to both (1) and (2),
and the fixed lines of (3) are identical with the lines which have the
96
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
same poles with respect to (1) and (2). Each fixed point of (3)
will be paired with some fixed line of (3) as pole and polar. These
points and lines we shall refer to briefly as common polar elements.
We shall have as many arrangements of common polar elements
as there are arrangements of fixed points of (3) and may classify
them into the types given in 41.
TYPE I. There are three and only three common poles A, B, C
(Fig. 29) and three common polars AB, BC, CA. To pair these off
we notice first that no point can be the pole of a line through it.
For if B were the pole of
AB, for example, C would be
the pole of either AC or BC,
say AC. The lines AB and
A C would be tangent to each
of the conies (1) and (2) and
A would be the pole of BC.
Then if D were any point
whatever on BC, and E its
harmonic conjugate with re
spect to B and C, the line
EA would be the polar of
D with respect to both (1)
and (2). Hence the conies would have more than three common
polars, and the collineation (3) would not be of Type I, 41.
Therefore the triangle is a selfpolar triangle with respect to
both (1) and (2). By taking this triangle as the coordinate tri
angle, the equations of the conies reduce to the forms
af + ^+a^O, (4)
arf+a^+asX^O, (5)
and the collineation (3) becomes
FIG. 29
px{=a l x l ,
(6)
where, by 41, a^ a^ a s .
The two conies (4) and (5) intersect in four distinct points, as
is easily proved.
LINEAK TRANSFORMATIONS
97
TYPE II. There are two common poles A and C (Fig. 30)
and two common polars AC and BC. The point C must be the
pole of one of the lines AC and BC
which pass through it, and hence
C lies on the two conies. But C
cannot be the pole of BC, for, if
it were, A would be the pole of
AC, and the line AC would be tan
gent to the conies at A and in
tersecting them again at C, which
is impossible. Therefore C is the
pole of AC and A of BC. If we
take the axes of coordinates as in
Type IV, 41, the equation of each of the conies is of the form
a^+a^+Za^x^O. (7)
Without changing the position of the axes we may take one of
the conies as x * + ^ + 2 ^ = Q, (8)
leaving the equation of the other in the general form (7). The
collineation (3) is then , _
c
FIG. 30
or
rt =
p4 =
(9)
That this should be of Type IV, 41, we must have ^ = 8 , a 2 i= a & .
The conies (1) and (2) are tangent at C and intersect in two other
points, as is easily proved. The
conies have no common selfpolar
triangle since there are not three
fixed points in the collineation (9).
TYPE III. There is a line BC
(Fig. 31) each point of which is
a common pole and another com
mon pole A not on BC. The FlG 31
common polars consist of the line BC and all lines through A. It
is evident that A is the common pole of BC, and hence BC is not
98
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
tangent to the conies. Take as B any point of BC and take C as the
pole of AB. Then ABC is a common self polar triangle. The equa
tions of the two conies may now be written as in Type I, (4) and (5),
with the addition that now a^= a z , in order that the collineation (6)
should be of Type II, 41. Hence the equations of the conies are
reduced to the forms 2 2 2 A ._, AN
0?+2?+3JBQ (10)
^+^+^=0, (11)
and the collineation (3) becomes
(12)
The two conies are tangent at two points, namely the points in
which the line BC meets the conies. This is easily seen from the
equations. We may also argue that if BC meets (10) in L, the
point L is a common pole of the line AL. Hence AL is tangent
to both conies. Similarly, if M is the other point of intersection
of BC and (10), AM is a common tangent to the conies.
TYPE IV. There is one common pole C (Fig. 32) and one com
mon polar BC. Hence the two conies are tangent to BC at C
and tangent at no other point. Take any point on the conic (1) as
A, and the tangent to (1) at A as AB.
The equation of (1) then is
x+ 2x^=0,
while that of (2), since it is known
only to be tangent to BC at (7, is
ajX% 4 a<pl + 2 a s x.,x s + 2 a 4 x^ = 0.
The collineation (3) is then of the type
32
px{= (1^+ a z x 2
In order that this should have
i ,.,
only one fixed point it is necessary
and sufficient that a l = a^ a s 3= 0. The two conies, besides being
tangent at (7, intersect in the point x l :x. 2 :x 8 = a} : 4 8 a a : 8 3 ".
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
99
If this point is taken as the point A in the coordinate triangle,
we have 2 = 0. The equations of the conies are then
x* 2 + 2x^=0, (13)
22^=0, (14)
and the collineation (3) is
px[ =%!+
px( = x. 2 +
= ax
ax.
(1 5)
which is of Type VI, 41.
As noted, the two conies are tangent at one point and intersect
in another point.
TYPE V. There is a line BC (Fig. 33) of common poles and a
pencil, with vertex C on BC, of common polars. Every point on BC
is therefore the common pole of some line through C, and hence
C is the common pole of BC. Hence the two conies are tangent to
BC at C. We proceed as in Type IV, but we
now find that in order that all points on # 3 =
should be fixed points of the collineation we
must have a^ = a^ a z 0. The equations of the
conies therefore reduce to
and the collineation (3) becomes
px, = x, H ax.)
= x n
(18)
FIG.
which is of Type V, 41.
The two conies are tangent at one point and have no other point
of intersection.
TYPE VI. Every point of the plane is a common pole with
respect to the two conies. The two conies are obviously identical.
To each type of the arrangements of the common polar elements
corresponds a distinct kind of intersection of the two conies.
Conversely, the nature of the common polar elements is deter
mined by the nature of the intersections, as is easily proved.
100 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
It is sometimes important to find, if possible, a selfpolar triangle
common to two conies. The foregoing discussion leads to the
following theorem:
If two conies intersect in four distinct points they have one and
only one common self polar triangle. If they are tangent in two points
they have an infinite number of common self polar triangles, one vertex
of which is at the intersection of the common tangents. In all other
cases two distinct conies have no common selfpolar triangle.
It is only when two conies have a common self polar triangle
that their equations can be reduced each to the sum of squares
as in Types I and III.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the diagonal triangle of a complete quadrangle whose
vertices are on a conic, or of a complete quadrilateral whose sides are
tangent to a conic, is selfpolar with respect to the conic ; and, con
versely, every selfpolar triangle is the diagonal triangle of such a quad
rangle and such a quadrilateral. Corresponding to a given selfpolar
triangle one vertex or one side of such a quadrangle or such a quadrilat
eral may be chosen arbitrarily. Apply this theorem to determining the
common selfpolar triangle of two conies in the position of Type I.
2. Discuss the common polar elements of a pair of conies when one
of them has singular points, obtaining seven types corresponding to
the seven types of singular collineations given in Ex. 4, 41. (Notice
that if the conic (1) consists of two intersecting straight lines, the point
of intersection P is the singular point of the corresponding collineation,
and the polar p of P with respect to the conic (2) is the fixed line. If the
conic (1) consists of a straight line taken double, that line is the singular
line p, and its pole P with respect to the conic (2) is the fixed point.)
44. The protective group. As we have seen, the product of two
collineations is a collineation, and the product of two correlations
is a collineation. It is not difficult to show that the product of a
collineation and a correlation in either order is a correlation. The
inverse transformation of either a collineation or a correlation
always exists and is a collineation or a correlation respectively.
Hence we have the theorem :
The totality of nonsingular collineations and nonsingular correla
tions in a plane form a group, of which the collineations form a
subgroup.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS \ 101
This group is called the protective group, and protective geometry
consists of the study of properties which are invariant under this
group.
It is evident then that projective geometry will include the study
of straightline figures with reference to the manner in which lines
intersect in points or points lie on straight lines. Such theorems
have been illustrated in 30. Lengths of lines are not in general
invariant under the projective group, and projective geometry is
not therefore concerned with the metrical properties of figures.
The cross ratio of four elements is, however, an invariant of the
projective group, and hence the cross ratio is of importance in
projective geometry.
By means of a collineation any conic without singular points
may be transformed into the conic
This was virtually proved in 35 when we showed that any equa
tion of the second order with discriminant not zero may be reduced
to the above form. But any transformation of coordinates is ex
pressed by a linear substitution of the variables, and this substitution
may be interpreted as a collineation, the coordinate system being
unchanged. Hence any conic without singular points can be trans
formed into any other conic without singular points by a collineation.
Similarly, any conic with one singular point may be transformed
into any other conic with one singular point, and any conic with
an infinite number of singular points may be transformed into any
other which also has an infinite number of singular points. Hence
projective geometry recognizes only three types of conies and studies
the properties which are common to all conies which belong to each
of the types. Such properties are illustrated in the theorems of
39, where the distinction between ellipse, hyperbola, and parabola
is not made.
In projective geometry it is convenient sometimes to consider the
properties invariant under the subgroup of collineations. The corre
lations may be implicitly employed by use of the dualistic property.
45. The metrical group. We shall proceed to study the collinea
tions which leave all distance invariant or multiply all distances
by the same constant k. For that purpose it is convenient to use
: S/lt I
< <T *. n
102 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Cartesian coordinates. Since it is evident that all points at infinity
remain at infinity, the transformations must be of the form
px r = a^ + a$ + a s t,
j + bfr (1)
or in nonhomogeneous form
J=ax + a + a sJ
Transformations of this type are called affine, since any point
in the finite part of the plane is transformed into a similar point.
We proceed to find the conditions under which an affine transfor
mation will have the properties required above.
If (x^ y^) and (x 2 , y^) are any two points which are transformed
respectively into (#(, ?/[) and (#, ^) then, by hypothesis,
&  x y+ <y, _ y y =
from which we obtain
Since this must be true for all values of the variables, we have
oj +!?,
a^a. 2 \ bfi 2 = 0.
From this follows algebraically 6 2 =a 1 , 5 1= = T a 2 . Also an
angle can always be found such that a^=~k cos <, ^ = k sin 0.
Equations (2) can then be written
x =k(x cos </> ^/ sin </>) + a,
(3)
y = lc (x sin < + ?/ cos
The product of any two transformations of the form (3) is
also of the form (3). This can be shown by direct substitution,
or follows geometrically, since (3) is the most general collineation
which multiplies distances by a constant. It is also evident that
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 103
the inverse transformation of (3) exists and is of the same form.
Hence the following theorem:
7. Transformations of the form (3)/orm a group called the metrical
group of collineations.
To this we add the following theorem :
77. By the metrical group of collineations the circle points at infinity
are either fixed or interchanged with each other. Conversely, any col
lineation which leaves the circle points fixed or interchanges them
belongs to the metrical group.
This follows from the fact that minimum lines (19) must be
transformed into minimum lines. Since the line at infinity is fixed,
the points wr^re the minimum lines intersect the line at infinity
must be fixea or interchanged. Theorem II may therefore be
restated as follows: ^
777. The metrical group leaves invariant the curve of second class
consisting of the two circle mi&ts at infinity!*
We shall now enumerate certain special types of the trans
formation (3).
I. Translation.
This is of Type V, 41, the line of fixed points being the line
at infinity, and the pencil of fixed lines being the parallel lines
intersecting in a : b : 0.
The translations evidently form a subgroup of the metrical
group.
II. Hotation about a fixed point.
If the fixed point is the origin, we have the transformation
= x cos </> y sin </>,
y 1 = x sin < f y cos <j>.
This is of Type I, 41, the fixed points being the origin and the
two circle points at infinity.
104 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
A rotation about any other point is the transform ( 5) of R by T.
Thus, if R is a rotation about (a, 6), R = TRT~\ where E is the
transformation , , , , , N . ,
r 2; a = (x a) cos </> (j/ 6) sin <,
{ y 6 = (# a) sin < + (y b) cos c/>.
The substitutions R and 72 form each a subgroup of the
metrical group.
III. Magnification.
( x 1 = kx,
M
This is of Type II, 41, the fixed point being the origin, and
the line of fixed points being the line at infinity. The pencil of
fixed lines is the pencil with its vertex at (0, 0).
A magnification M 1 with the fixed point (a, 5) is the transform
of M by T ; thus, M f = TMT~ \ where M is the transformation
f x a = k (x a),
M 1y b = k(y J).
The transformations M and M form each a subgroup of the
metrical group.
IV. Reflection on a straight line.
If the straight line is the axis of x, the transformation is
s \y =y
This is of Type II, 41, the line of fixed points being y = 0,
and the distinct fixed point being 0:1:0. The fixed pencil of lines
consists of the parallel lines through 0:1: 0.
If, now, U is a transformation of the metrical group (3), it is not
difficult to show that it is the product of transformations of the
types we have enumerated. There are, in fact, two main divisions
of the metrical transformations, namely,
CLASS I. Metrical transformations not involving a reflection.
Consider U^ = TMR. It is evident that U^ is given by the equations
( x = k (x cos (f> y sin <) f a,
and that, conversely, any transformation of this type can be ex
pressed as the product TMR.
LINEAR TRANSFORMATIONS 105
CLASS II. Metrical transformations involving a reflection.
Consider U 2 = TSMR. It is evident that V is of the type
r x = k(x cos (/> y sin $) + a,
2 1 y = k (x sin < + / cos </>) + 6,
which can also be written
( x = k (x cos (j> + y sin <) + a,
J^ s (2 sin < ?/cos<) + 6
by replacing by </>, an allowable change, since </> is any angle.
Conversely, any transformation of type U 2 can be expressed as
the product TSMR.
The transformations U 1 form a subgroup of the metrical group.
The transformations Z7 2 , however, do not form a group, since the
product of two such transformations is one of the form U^
46. Angle and the circle points at infinity. By the metrical group
angles are left unchanged. This is evident from the fact that any
triangle is transformed into a similar triangle. Also the cross ratio
of any two lines and the minimum lines through their point of inter
section is equal to the cross ratio of the transformed lines and the
minimum lines through the transformed point of intersection, since
minimum lines are transformed into minimum lines. This suggests
a connection between this cross ratio and the angle between the
two lines. We shall proceed to find this connection.
Let the two lines be ^ with line coordinates v f , and l z with line
coordinates w { . The coordinates of any line through the point of
intersection of ^ and l z are u { = v { + \w^ and this is a minimum line
when u. satisfies the line equation of the circle points at infinity,
namely,
u *+ u *=0.
This gives for X the equation
A\*+ZB\+ (7=0,
where A=wf + w, B w^v^+v^w^ C = v* + v.
106 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and call m l the minimum line corresponding to \ 15 and m z the
minimum line corresponding to \ 2 . Then (13)
... , \ B + i^/ACB*
==
Now the point equations of ^ and 1 2 are respectively
y + v f = >
y + = 0,
and if </> is the angle between them,
v,w, 4 vjtv* B
sin </> =
VAC
X, cos <f> i sin 6 e***
 1 
,,
Therefore
cos <> =F ^ sin
whence <^> =  log  1 .
J \
The ambiguity of sign is natural, since an interchange of \ and
X 2 would change the sign of </>. We have, therefore,
7
n^Ze between two lines is therefore equal to times the
,&
logarithm of the cross ratio of the two lines and the minimum lines
through their point of intersection.
If = ~, i = 1, and, conversely, if * = !, <f> = ^ + far.
TT ^ ^2 ** *
Hence
Perpendicular lines may be defined as lines which are harmonic
conjugates with respect to the minimum lines through their point of
intersection.
CHAPTER VII
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT
47. General principles. The results of the last section suggest a
generalization, to be made by replacing the circle points at infinity
by the general curve of the second class,
"^k ~A A f\ S J 4 \ /"I \
which we shall call the fundamental conic. Let ^ and / 2 (Fig. 34)
be any two lines, and let ^ and t z be the two tangents which can be
drawn to the fundamental conic from the
point of intersection of ^ and 1 2 . Then the
projective angle between ^ and 1 2 is defined
by the equation
4(^ 2 ) = M Iog(y 2 , ^ 2 ), (2)
where M is a constant to be determined
more exactly later.
This satisfies the fundamental require
ments for the measurement of an angle,
since it attaches to every angle a definite
numerical measure such that the sum of the measures of the parts
of a whole is equal to the measure of the whole. To prove the
latter statement, notice that
Now, if Z 1? l z , and l s are three lines of the same pencil, with coor
dinates \ t , \ 2 , \ respectively, and the coordinates of the lines ^
and t z of the same pencil are taken as and oo, we have
Hence
107
108
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Dualistically, if the fundamental conic does not reduce to two
points its equation can be expressed in point coordinates as
% = 0. (OK = a ik ) (3)
Then, if ^ and F 2 (Fig. 35) are two points, and T^ and T 2 are
the two points in which the line I^P 2 cuts the conic, the protective
distance P^ is defined by the equation
dist.(^) = Jnog(^, I\T 2 ), (4)
where K is to be determined later. It is
shown, as in the case of angles, that
dist. (JJJ?) + dist. (JSJP) = dist. (J?^).
The analytic expression for distance ft,
and angle in terms of the coordinates of
the points and lines, respectively, may
readily be found. Take, for example,
equation (4). If y i are the coordinates of ^, and z. the coordinates
of P 2 , the coordinates of T v and T 2 are y. \z t and ^ \z., where
\ and X 2 are the roots of the quadratic equation
FlG
which we write for convenience in the form
We will take
X =^B
and
g) "
Then, by the definition (^TJ and theorem III, 13, we have
dist. (j/ t 2 ) = K log
\
But
and therefore we have, as the final form,
dist. (j/f2 f ) = 2 K log *
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT 109
There is of course free choice as to which of the two values of
X is taken as \. To interchange \ and \ is simply to change the
positive direction on the line.
The distance between two points is zero when the two points
are coincident or when the line connecting them is tangent to the
fundamental conic, since in the latter case \= \ 2 . The tangents to
the conic are therefore analogous in the projective measurement
to the minimum lines in ordinary measurement.
The distance between two points is infinite when \ x or X 2 is
zero or infinity. This happens only when ^ or P^ is on the funda
mental conic. That is, points on the fundamental conic are at an
infinite distance from all other points.
Similarly, consider equation (2). If v { and w { are the coordinates
of Z x and 1 2 respectively, the coordinates of ^ and t z are v. \^w { and
v i \w { , where \ and \ 2 are the roots of the equation
which may be written
n 2xn
vw
we take
we have, by (2),
4 (,,0 = If log = 2 M log n.^ . (7)
All angle is zero if ^ and 1 2 coincide or if ^ and 1 2 intersect on the
fundamental conic, for in the latter case \= \. That is, all lines which
intersect at an infinite distance make a zero angle with each other. They
are therefore analogous to parallel lines in Euclidean measurement.
The angle between two lines is infinite if either line is tangent
to the fundamental conic.
From the definitions we have the following theorem :
Projective distance and angle are unchanged by the group of collin
eations which leave the fundamental conic invariant.
We shall now proceed to discuss more in detail three cases,
according to the nature of the fundamental conic.
110
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETKY
48. The hyperbolic case. We assume that the fundamental conic
is real. It may then be brought by proper choice of coordinate
axes to the form
in point coordinates and to the form
in line coordinates.
The conic divides the plane into two portions, one of which
we call the inside of the conic and which is characterized by the
fact that the tangents to the curve from
any point of the region are imaginary.
The outside of the conic is the region
characterized by the fact that from every
point of it two real tangents can be
drawn. We shall consider the inside of
the conic.
If l^ and 1 2 (Fig. 36) are two real
lines intersecting in a point inside the
conic, \ and \ of equation (7), 47,
are conjugate imaginary. Let us place
\ i = re** t where
FIG. 36
(2)
Then \=re { * and
(lJ^) = Mloge* i * =
Since it is desirable that the angles which a line makes with
another should differ by multiples of TT, we shall place M >
and have, as the complete definition of the angle between the
lines Zj and Z 2 , Q _
mr
whence
cos 6
(3)
Two lines are perpendicular to each other when 6 =(2
For that it is necessary and sufficient that = 1. The two lines
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT 111
are then harmonic conjugates with respect to t l and t 2 . This has a
geometric meaning, as follows : Let P (Fig. 36) be the point of in
tersection of l t and 2 , p the polar of P, L I and L 2 the intersections
of p with ^ and 1 2 respectively, and T^ and T Z the intersections of
the conic with ^ and t 2 respectively. T^ T 2 , t^ 2 , being imaginary,
are not shown in the figure. Then by VI, 34, T I and T 2 lie on p,
and by I, 16, (L^L^ ^T^) = (^ 2 > *A) Hence, in order that the
two lines ^ and / 2 should be perpendicular it is necessary and suffi
cient that L I and L 2 should be harmonic conjugates to T^ and T 2 ,
and hence (VIII, 34) L l must lie on the polar of L 2 , and L 2
must lie on the polar of L^ But the polars of L I and L 2 pass
through P by V, 34, and therefore ^ is the polar of Z 2 , and 2
is the polar of L^. Hence for two lines to be perpendicular it is
necessary and sufficient that each should pass through the pole of
the other.
Consider now the distance between two points P l and P 2 (Fig. 36)
inside the conic. Then \ x and \ 2 of (5), 47, are both real, and
hence if the distance PP is to be real we must take K as a real
k
quantity. Let us place JT= where k is real. We have, for the
distance, ~
dist. <,, O = % = k log
If we write d for dist. Q/ t . t .) we have, from (4),
.^p^v <<%*..
whence
We have already noted that if P^ is inside the conic and ^ on
the conic, the distance P^ becomes infinite. If P l is inside the conic
and j outside of it, X 1 and X 2 in equation (4) have opposite signs,
112
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and the distance Pf^ becomes imaginary. If, then, we can imagine
a being living inside the conic and measuring distance and angle by
the formulas (5) and (3), the conic would lie for him at an infinite
distance, and the region outside would be simply nonexistent, a
mere analytic conception in which a point means simply a pair
of coordinate values. Such a being would have a nonEuclidean
geometry of the type named Lobachevskian.
We have, of course, based all our discussion on the assumption
of the Euclidean axioms, and the inside of our fundamental conic is
simply a portion of the Euclidean plane. It lies outside the scope
of this book to show that by a choice of axioms, differing from
those of Euclid only in the parallel axiom, it is possible to arrive
at a geometry which for the entire plane has properties which are
exactly those of the interior of our fundamental conic, with the
projective measurement here defined. Such a discussion may be
found in treatises on nonEuclidean geometry. The inside of the
fundamental conic is a picture in the Euclidean plane of the non
Euclidean geometry. We shall proceed to notice some of the most
striking properties.
We first notice that if LK (Fig. 37) is a straight line and P
a point not on it, there go through P two kinds of lines, those which
intersect LK and those which do not.
The latter lines are those which in the
entire plane intersect LK in points
outside the conic, but from the stand
point of the interior of the conic they
must be considered as not intersect
ing LK. The two classes of lines, the
intersecting and the nonintersecting,
are separated from each other by two
lines PL and PK, which intersect LK on the conic; that is, at
infinity. These lines we call parallel lines, and say that through a
point not on a straight line can be drawn two lines parallel to that
straight line.
The angle which a line parallel to LK through P makes with
the perpendicular to LK is called the angle of parallelism, and is a
function of the length of the perpendicular. To compute it, let
us take LK as x^ = 0, the point P as y^ and the equation o f
FIG. 37
PROJECTIYE MEASUREMENT 113
the conic as xt + x%x%= 0. The pole of LK is (1:0 : 0). The
line PR is perpendicular to LK when it passes through the pole
of LK. Its equation is therefore y z x z y^x^ = 0, and it intersects
Hence, if p is the length of PR we have, from (5),
k  k
The point K is the point (0:1:1), and the equation of PK is
(y<i~ y^) x C~ y^i^r y^* 0 Hence to find the angle between PK
and P.K we have to place in (3)
There results, with the aid of (6),
It appears, then, that the angle is a function of p. We shall
place, following Lobachevsky s notation*
Our last equation then leads with little work to the final result :
This result is independent of the fact that it has been obtained
for the special line 2^= and the special form of the equation of
the conic since no transformation of coordinates alters the projective
angles or distances.
If in formula (5) we consider y. as a fixed point C and replace
z i by a variable point #,., at the same time holding the distance d
constant, we have
< + =0 (8)
as the equation of the locus of a point at a constant distance
from a fixed point. This locus is called a pseudo circle. From
the form of (8) it is obvious that the pseudo circle is tangent to
114
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the fundamental conic co xx = at the points in which the latter is
cut by the polar <o yx = of the point y.. There are three cases:
I. The point C lies inside the conic (Fig. 38). The pseudo
circles with the center .y i are then closed curves intersecting the
conic in imaginary points.
II. The point C lies on the conic (Fig. 39), and the distance of
each point from y i is infinite. The pseudo circles are tangent to the
FIG. 38
FIG. 39
conic. They are the limiting cases of the pseudo circles of Case I
when the center recedes to infinity and the radius becomes infinite,
and are called in nonEuclidean geometry limit circles or horicycles.
III. The point C is outside the conic (Fig. 40), and the radius
is imaginary so that points of (8) lie inside the conic. The straight
line (i> yx = is one of these pseudo circles, and the others are the
loci of points equidistant
from this line. To prove
the latter statement draw
any straight line through C.
It intersects the polar of C
at R and the pseudo circle
in two points one of which
is Q. Then CR and CQ are
constant, and hence RQ is
constant. In this geometry,
then, the locus of points equally distant from a straight line is
not a straight line, but a pseudo circle with imaginary center and
imaginary radius. It is called a hypocycle.
FIG. 40
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT 115
EXERCISES
1. Consider angle and distance for points outside the fundamental
conic, especially with reference to real and imaginary values.
2. Construct a triangle all of whose angles are zero.
3. Compute the angle between two lines of zero length and between
any line and a line of zero length.
4. Prove that the sum of the angles of a triangle is less than two
right angles.
49. The elliptic case. We assume that the fundamental conic is
imaginary. It may be reduced by proper choice of coordinates to
the form ^ = x * + x * + x * = Q (1)
in point coordinates and to the form
ft MM =< + < + < = (2)
in line coordinates.
Since the tangents from any point to the fundamental conic
are imaginary, the problem of determination of angle is the same
here as in the hyperbolic case, and we have
(3)
Any straight line connecting the two points JFJ and P 2 meets the
conic in imaginary points, and if P l and JJ are real points, the
quantities \ and X 2 in (5), 47, are conjugate imaginary. Hence,
if the distance between two real points is to be real, we must take
ik
K as pure imaginary. We will place K= > where k is real.
Placing \ = re**, where
and representing the distance (j/^) by c?, we may reduce formula
(5), 47, to the form d
Two real points are always at a finite distance from each other,
since, as shown in 47, an infinite distance only results when one
of the points is on the fundamental conic.
Consider the change in d as z i moves along a straight line, y {
being fixed. In the beginning of the motion, when z. coincides
116 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
with y^ cos  = uy , and the sign of the radical must be taken
so that cos  1 and d = 0. As z { moves away from y. the signs
k
of the quantities on the righthand side of equation (4) remain
positive and d increases until z i reaches a point on the line o> yx 0,
(Fig. 41), the polar of ?/ r Then
cos  = and d= k. This is
ri
true of all lines through y {
and for either direction on any
such line. Hence the straight
line a> yx = 0, which, by 48,
is perpendicular to all lines
through y^ is at a constant
distance from y. in all \
2 FIG. 41
directions.
Consequently, if we start from y. and traverse a distance irk on
any line through y { and in either direction, we return to y^ There
are two cases of importance to be distinguished:
CASE I. All straight lines may be considered of length jrk.
The coordinates y { always refer, then, to a single point. All straight
lines intersect in one and only one point, there are no parallel
lines, and two lines always bound a portion of the plane. This is
the Riemannian geometry. It may be visualized by drawing straight
lines from a point outside the plane and considering each point of
the plane as represented by one and only one of these lines.
CASE II. All straight lines may be considered of length 2 irk.
When we traverse the distance TrJc on a line from y. and return to
y# we shall consider that we are on the opposite side of the plane
and need to repeat the journey to return to our starting point.
Any coordinates y# then, are the coordinates of two points lying
on opposite sides of the plane. Two straight lines intersect in two
points, there are no parallel lines, and two lines inclose two por
tions of the plane. We call this spherical geometry, since it is exactly
that on the surface of a sphere. It is also the geometry of the half
lines or rays drawn to the plane from a point outside of it.
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT 117
EXERCISES
1. Construct a triangle all of whose angles are right angles.
2. Prove that the sum of the angles of a triangle is greater than
two right angles.
50. The parabolic case. We may consider that the fundamental
conic is one which contains singular points or singular lines.
There are, then, the two possibilities of the point equation repre
senting two straight lines or of the line equation representing
two points. The former possibility has little interest, and we shall
consider only the case in which the line equation represents two
points. There are two cases to distinguish :
CASE I. The two points are imaginary. We may take them as
the two points ~L:i: 0, and the line equation of the fundamental
conic is then n ^ = ^ + ^ 2= Q> (1)
The formula for angle may be modified as in 48, with the
result that
The point equation of the fundamental conic does not exist and
the distance formula (6), 47, cannot be immediately applied.
We may proceed, however, by a method of limits. In place of (1)
we will write Q _ = <+ <+ ^ 0> (3)
which goes over into (1) when e = 0. The point equation cor
responding to (3) is
=&+ *f) + *t=0, (4)
and from this we find, as in 48,
d = i^ ^ lZs ~ ^i) 2 +
*
Since the quantity on the right hand of this equation is infini
tesimal, we may replace sinh by j and then pass to the limit,
K, K
as e = and k = oo in such a manner that Lim ikvl = 1. We have
118 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If we take # 3 =0 as the line at infinity, the points l:i:Q
become the circle points, and the formula (2) for angle and (5)
for distance become the usual Cartesian formulas. The geometry
is Euclidean. We have this result:
^Euclidean measurement is a special case of protective measurement.
CASE II. The fundamental points are real. We may take them
as 1 : 1 : 0. The line equation of the fundamental conic is then
Q, m =u*u*=0. (6)
Since through every real point there go two lines of the pencils
defined by (6), it is necessary to take the constant K of 47 as
real if real lines are to make real angles with each other. We
will take K=\ and find, by a discussion analogous to that used
in 48 for finding d,
U /J VW ~
COsh
The formula for distance may be found as in Case I, with the
result . 
d = v O/A
If we take # 3 = as the line at infinity and use nonhomogeneous
Cartesian coordinates, we have, for the distance between two points
*, and * ,</, 2
and for the angle between the two lines ax + ly + c = and
a x + Vy + c = 0,
aa bb
cosh 6 =
Consider now any fixed point in the plane. For convenience let
it be the origin 0. Through go two lines of the pencils defined by
the fundamental conic; that is, two lines drawn to the fundamental
points at infinity. The equations of these lines are x y =
(Fig. 42). They divide the plane into two regions, which we may
mark as shaded and unshaded. If a point (x,.y) lies in the unshaded
region, 2^ ?/ 2 > 0; and if it lies in the shaded region, a^ y 2 < 0.
Consequently, distances measured from are imaginary in the
PROJECTIVE MEASUREMENT
119
shaded region and real in the unshaded region. The boundaries
between the two regions are lines of length zero. The locus of
points equidistant from are equilateral hyperbolas x*y*=k.
A line ax + by = 0, passing
through 0, is in the unshaded
region if a 2 b 2 < and in the
shaded region if c?W> 0. Hence
an angle with its vertex at is
real if both sides are in the shaded
region or both sides in the un
shaded region, and is imaginary
if one side is in the shaded region
and one side in the unshaded
region. A line through which
is not a line of zero length makes
an infinite angle with each of the
lines of zero length. The two lines of zero length make an inde
terminate angle with each other. In this respect as in other ways
they are analogous to the minimum lines in a Euclidean plane.
These properties are of course the same at all points of the
plane. They make a geometry which differs widely from the
geometry of actual physical experience.*
*This geometry has recently gained new interest because of its occurrence
in the theory of relativity. Cf . Wilson and Lewis, " The SpaceTime Manifold
of Relativity," Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1912),
Vol. XL VIII, No, 11.
I
FIG. 42
CHAPTER VIII
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE
51 . Pointpoint transformations. Consider now the transformation
defined by the equations
(1)
where x 19 # 2 , x s and x( 9 x* 2J x 3 are point coordinates and/ 1? f^f s are
homogeneous functions which are continuous and possess deriva
tives and for which the Jacobian
a/,
t/ 3
does not identically vanish.
By the transformation (1) a point x. is transformed into one
or more points #J, with possible exceptional points. Owing to the
hypothesis as to the Jacobian, equations (1) can in general be
solved for x t , and any point x 1 . is therefore the transformed point
of one or more points x fl with possible exceptional points.
Consider now a point M and its transformed point M . If there
is more than one transformed point, we will fix our attention on
one only. If M describes a curve c denned by the equations
the point M describes a curve c , the equations of which may be
found by substituting from (2) into (1). The direction of c at
M is determined by x^ x 2 , x 3 and dx^ dx z , dx^ as shown in (4),
31. The direction of c 1 at M is determined in the same manner
120
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 121
by x{, #2, #3 and dx(, dx%, dx z . These latter six quantities are
determined by the former six, and hence the direction of c at a
point M 1 is determined by the direction of c at M. From this
follows the theorem
If two curves c l and c^ are tangent at a point M, the transformed
curves c( and c! 2 are tangent at the transformed point M f .
For this reason the transformation (1) is called a contact
transformation.
If the transformation (1) is expressed in nonhomogeneous
Cartesian coordinates, it becomes
Now let p be the direction ^ of a curve traversed by the point
dy
(x, y) and let p be the direction ^ of the transformed curve.
We have, evidently,
^
dx
Sx dy
The three equations
*=f l (.x, y),
y), (3)
p =
dx
a/.
are called an enlarged point transformation. They bring into clear
evidence that two curves with a common point and a common
direction are transformed into two curves which have also a
common point and a common direction.
52. Quadric inversion. An example of a pointpoint transforma
tion as defined by (1), 51, has already been met in the case of
the collineations.
122 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
As another example consider the transformation
(1)
These equations can be solved when neither x v x 21 nor x 8 are
zero into the equivalent equations
(2)
The transformation establishes, therefore, a onetoone relation
between the points x { and the points x\ with the possible excep
tion of points on the triangle of reference ABC. To examine these
points let A be as usual the point : : 1, B the point 0:1:0, and
C the point 1 : : 0, so that the equation of AB is rc 1 = 0, that of
AC is # 2 =0, and that of BC is x s = 0. Then from (1) any point
on the line AB is transformed into B, any point on the line AC is
transformed into C, and any point on the line BC is transformed
into A. The coordinates of either A, B, or C, if substituted in (1),
give the indeterminate expression 0:0:0, but if we enlarge the
definition of the transformation by assuming that (2) holds for all
points, including those on AB, AC, and BC, it follows that B is
transformed into the entire line AB, C is transformed into the
entire line AC, and A is transformed into the entire line BC.
Consider any straight line with the equation
<*&+<*&+<*&=<>.
It is transformed into the curve
which is a conic through the points A, B, and C. In fact, the point
in which the line meets AB is transformed into B, the point in
which the line meets AC is transformed into (7, and the point in
which the line meets BC is transformed into A.
If the straight line passes through one of the points A, B, or (7,
the conic into which it is transformed splits up into two straight
lines, one of which is a side of the coordinate triangle and the
other of which passes through the vertex opposite that side. In
CONTACT TEANSFOEMATIONS IN THE PLANE 123
particular, consider a line a^h \x 2 = through A. The first two of
equations (1) give x(+\x z = for all points except the point A\
that is, any point except A on a line through A gives a definite
point on the same line. The point A, however, goes over into the
entire line x 8 = 0.
In a similar manner a conic is transformed into a curve of
fourth order, which passes twice through each of the points ^4, 5, (7,
since the conic cuts each of the lines AB, BC, CA in two points.
If, however, the conic passes through one of the points A, B, (7,
that point is transformed into a side of the coordinate triangle,
and the curve of fourth order must consist of that side and a
curve of third order.
In particular, a conic through A but not through B or C is
transformed into the line BC and a curve of third order through
B and C. A nondegenerate conic through B and C and not through
A is transformed into two lines AB and A C and a conic through B
and (7, but not through A. Finally, a nondegenerate conic
through the three points A, B, C is transformed into the three sides
of the triangle of reference and a straight line not through its ver
tices. These results may all be seen directly or verified analytically.
By placing x i =x i in equations (1) the locus of fixed points of
the transformation is found to be the conic
x^x^Q,
which passes through B and C and is tangent to AB and AC.
It is not difficult to show that each point P of the plane is trans
formed into a point P 1 in which the line AP cuts the polar of P
with respect to the fixed conic.
This transformation is called a quadric inversion to distinguish
it from the circular inversion, or simply inversion, discussed in the
next section.
EXERCISES
1. Prove the statement in the text that the point P is transformed
into the point in which AP cuts the polar of P with respect to the
fixed conic. Hence show that P and P are harmonic conjugates to the
points in which PP 1 cuts the conic.
2. Prove that the cross ratio of four points on a straight line p is
equal to the cross ratio of the corresponding four points on the conic
into which p is transformed.
124 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
3. Study the transformations
/<}\ n ~J rf. ~,
\*) P X l X 1 X $
= x?.
(3) px[ = xf,
P x 3 = x*  0^3.
53. Inversion. The transformation (1) of 52 has particular
interest and importance when the points B and C are the circle
points at infinity. We may then place x 3 = t, x 1 = x + iy, x^ x iy
and, using Cartesian coordinates, write the transformation in the
form
(1)
or, wliat is the same thing in nonhomogeneous form,
(2)
By this transformation a onetoone relation is established
between the points (x, y) and (V, / ), with the exceptions that the
origin corresponds to the line at infinity, and conversely, and that
each of the circle points at infinity corresponds to the minimum
line joining it to the origin, and conversely. The circle x*\y z = 1
is fixed. Any point of the fixed circle is transformed into a point
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 125
inside that circle, and, conversely, in such a way that if is the
origin, P any point, and P 1 the transformed point, OP OP f = 1.
The transformation is called an inversion with respect to the unit
circle, or a transformation by reciprocal radius with respect to
that circle. The origin is called the center of inversion, and the
fixed circle the circle of inversion.
Remembering that a circle is a conic through the circle points
and applying the results of the previous section, we have the
following theorems:
/. A straight line not through the center of inversion is transformed
into a circle through the center of inversion.
II. A straight line through the center of inversion is transformed
into itself (and the line at infinity ).
III. A circle not through the center of inversion is transformed into
a circle not through the center of inversion (and the two minimum
lines through the center of inversion).
IV. A circle through the center of inversion is transformed into a
straight line not through the center of inversion (and the two minimum
lines through the center of inversion and the line at infinity*).
V. A conic is transformed in general into a curve of fourth order
through the circle points at infinity.
VI. A conic through the center of inversion is transformed into
a curve of third order through the circle points (and the line at
infinity ).
If we take the nonhomogeneous form (2) of the transformation
and apply it to the equations
ax + by + c = 0,
we readily get theorems IIV without the clauses in parentheses.
It is in this simplified form that the theorems are often given, but
they then fail to tell the whole story.
Let us denote by / the transformation (1) and by M the trans
formation III, 45. Then M~ l transforms the circle ^+y 2 =F
into the unit circle, / carries out an inversion with respect to the
unit circle, and M carries the unit circle back into the circle
x z +y 2 =k 2 . The product of these three, namely MIM~ l , which is
126 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the transform of / by M, is an inversion with respect to the circle
= 1? and is represented by the equations
x = 1
It is evident that a point P is transformed into a point P , where
OP . OP f = k\ and that theorems IVI still hold.
If we desire an inversion with respect to a circle with center (#, >)
and radius &, we may transform (3) by means of a transformation
which carries into (a, b). The result is
~j _ a *_(. x "" tt )
JL/ ^^ Ct
Obviously theorems IVI hold for (5).
If the inversion (2) is written as an enlarged pointpoint trans
formation of the form (3), 51, we have
.., y
y
, = *y
x 2 y z
From this it is easy to compute that if p l and p z are the slopes of
two curves through the same point, and if p( and p 2 are the slopes
of the two transformed curves through the transformed point, then
This shows that the angle between two curves is preserved by
the transformation. A transformation which preserves angles is said
to be conformed. Hence an inversion is a conformal transformation.
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 127
EXERCISES
1. Show that any circle through a point P and its inverse point P f
is orthogonal to the circle of inversion.
2. Show that a pencil of straight lines is transformed by inversion
into a pencil of circles consisting of circles through two fixed points.
Study the configuration formed by the inversion of a series of con
centric circles and the straight lines through their common center.
3. Show that parallel lines invert into circles which are tangent at
the center of inversion.
4. Show that the cross ratio of four points collinear with the center
of inversion is equal to that of the transformed points.
5. Show that a point P and its inverse point P f are harmonic con
jugates with respect to the intersections of the line PP 1 and the circle
of inversion.
6. If a circle is inverted into a straight line, show that two points
which are inverse with respect, to the circle go into two points which
are symmetrical with respect to the line.
7. Study the real properties of an inversion with respect to the
imaginary circle x 2 f y* = 1.
8. Show that an inversion is completely determined by two pairs
of inverse points.
9. From the theorem "four circles can be drawn tangent to three
given lines " prove by inversion the theorem " four circles can be drawn
tangent to three given circles which pass through a fixed point."
10. From the theorem "two circles have four common tangent lines "
prove by inversion the theorem " through a given point four circles can
be drawn tangent to two given circles."
54. Pointcurve transformations. Consider now a transformation
defined by the equation
F(x v x^ x s , x{, x 2 , x 3 ) = 0, (1)
where x f and x[ are point coordinates and F is a function homo
geneous in both x i and #J, continuous in both sets of these variables,
and possessing derivatives with respect to both.
Let M be a point with the coordinates / { . If these coordinates
are substituted for x f in (1) and held fixed, the resulting equation
is that of a curve which we call an w curve, the equation being
f(.y v yy *i*i, O = o, (2)
and we say that the point M is transformed into the m curve.
128
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
FIG. 43
We shall make the hypothesis that these w curves form a two
parameter family of curves such that one curve of this family goes
through any given point in any given direction.
Let K be a point with the coordinates z{. This point will lie on the
m curve (2) if *(, y,^., ^, aj, <)= 0, (3)
and all values of the ratios y l : y 2 : y z which can be determined
from equation (3) will, if used in (2), determine an wi curve
through K . These values of y^ how
ever, are given by any point M which
lies on the curve
F(x 1 ,x,,x a ,z(,4,4)=Q. (4)
Call any curve defined by equation
(4) a &curve. We have, then, the
following result:
All points M which lie on a kcurve are transformed into m f curves
which pass through a point K (Fig. 43).
We can say, then, that the kcurve is transformed into a point K!.
In fact, the equation of a &curve is found by holding x\ constant
in (1), just as the equation of an w curve is found by holding x i
constant in the same equation.
It is further evident that all kcurves which pass through a point M
are transformed into points K which lie on the curve m .
If any proof of this is necessary, it may be supplied by noticing
that equation (3) is the condition that M should lie on k and
that K should lie on m 1 .
Consider now any curve c,
not a &curve, denned by the
equations ^ = ^ (x>
( 5 >
FIG. 44
The m curves corresponding to
points M on c form a one
parameter family of curves which in general have an envelope c ,
and the curve c is said to be transformed into the curve c ! .
To follow this analytically let M^(x^ x# x s ) (Fig. 44) be the
point on c corresponding to the value \ of X, and let M z be
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 129
the point corresponding to the value X f AX, the coordinates of
M 2 being a^+A^, # 2 +A:r 2 , ^ 3 +A^ 3 . The two points M l and M 2
are transformed into m( and m(, which intersect in a point K , the
coordinates of which are given by the equations
W C r T r ? * *r f \
\ v "yt *Si "v 21 z) v
where the values of x i and Lx i are to be taken from (5). The
point K corresponds to a &curve through M^ and M 2 .
Now let M 2 approach M^ The curve m( approaches the curve
raj, and the point K approaches a limiting point T the coordinates
of which are given by
F(x^ x. 2 , x 8 , x{, x 2 , a)= 0,
dF, , dF , dF , (7)
dx+ dx + dx = Q,
dx^ dx z dx 8
where the values of x i and dx. are to be taken from (5).
The point T[ is obviously the transformed point of , a Arcurve
tangent to c at M^ The locus of T is the curve c r , which cor
responds to c.
Equations (7) furnish a proof that c is tangent to m 1 at T .
For, by differentiating the first of these equations and taking
account of the second, we have
which, as in 31, determines the direction of c . But this is just
the equation which determines the direction of m(. The direction
of c 1 is thus determined at the point T by the direction of m{. It
is therefore determined by the point M l and the curve f, the latter
being determined by the direction of c. Hence two curves c which
are tangent are transformed into two curves c which are tangent. The
transformation is therefore called a contact transformation.
Suppose now that the transformation (1) is expressed in non
homogeneous Cartesian coordinates by the equation
130 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and let p be the slope of any curve c, and p 1 the slope 2Jj of
dx ctx
the transformed curve c . Then equations (6) and (8) are replaced
in the present coordinates by
dF dF
which enable us to determine p and jt/ when z, y, x , and y ? are
known. The last three equations, written together,
/+*?*.
dx dy
are called an enlarged pointcurve contact transformation. If
solved for z , y , and p 1 they may be written in the form
(10)
If, then, the point (a;, ?/) describes the curve re =/ i (X), ^ =/ 2 (\),
f.YM
we have jt? =*;J^^^ an( i equations (10) give the transformed curve
expressed in terms of the parameter X.
An example of a pointcurve transformation is found in the cor
relations already discussed, since the equations (1), 42, may be
written in the form
Here the m curves and the ^curves are straight lines. If x i
describes a curve c, the straight line m 1 envelops the transformed
curve c r . If the correlation is expressed in Cartesian coordinates,
it is readily put into the form (10).
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 131
EXERCISES
1. Express the general correlation in the form of equations (10).
2. Place in the form of equations (10) the polarity by which a point
is transformed into its polar line with respect to the circle x 2 + y* = 1.
3. Find the curve into which the parabola y z = ax is transformed by
the polarity of Ex. 2.
4. Show that the curve into which the circle (x h) 2 \(y &) 2 = r 2
is transformed by the polarity of Ex. 2 is a conic, and state the con
ditions under which it is an ellipse, a parabola, or a hyperbola. Find
the focus and directrix of the conic.
5. Prove that by any polarity the order and the class of the trans
formed curve is equal to the class and the order, respectively, of the
original curve.
6. Study the transformation
=
?,
y
and find the curve into which the circle # 2 +?/ 2 =l is transformed
by it.
7. Express in the form of equations (10) each of the types of
correlations given in 42 and study them from this standpoint.
55. The pedal transformation. As another example of a point
curve transformation we shall use homogeneous Cartesian coordi
nates and take the equation
<V 2 + / 2 >  x t x  y t y = 0. (1)
If we take M as any point (x : y : ), the corresponding w curve
is in general a circle constructed on the line OM as a diameter.
Exceptional points are the origin and the points at infinity. If M
is the origin, the circle becomes the two minimum lines through
the origin. If M is a point at infinity, not a circle point, the circle
m splits up into the line at infinity and a straight line through
perpendicular to OM. If M is a circle point /, the circle m f splits
up into the line at infinity and the minimum line OL
132 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The &curve corresponding to a point K r is in general a straight
line through K and perpendicular to OK . Exceptions occur when
K 1 is the origin or one of the circle points at infinity, in which
cases the &curve is indeterminate. If K is any point on the line
at infinity but not a circle point, the &curve is the line at infinity.
If K is on a minimum line through 0, but not at infinity, the
#curve is the other minimum line through 0. A &line does not
in general pass through or the circle points at infinity.
Conversely, any straight line which does not pass through the
origin, and is neither the line at infinity nor a minimum line, is a
&line, the point K being the point in which the normal from
meets the line. This may be seen by comparing the equation
ax\by + ct = Q with (1), thus determining x : y : t^ aci bcia^+b 2 ,
which is the foot of the normal from to the line.
Take any curve c. The tangent &curve at any point M is
the tangent line , and the point T r fe the foot of the perpen
dicular from on T. Therefore ih&. transformed curve c of any
curve c is the locus of the feet of the perpendiculars drawn from
the origin to the tangent lines of c. The transformation is called
the pedal transformation, and the point is the origin of the
transformation.
If the pedal transformation is expressed in Cartesian coordi
nates as an enlarged pointcurve transformation of the form (9),
54, it becomes
_
P 2y y
and these equations can be solved for x r , y , and p\ giving
f
CONTACT TKANSFOBMATIONS IN THE PLANE 133
EXERCISES
1. If Q is the pedal transformation with the origin 0, P a polarity
with respect to any circle with the center 0, and R an inversion
with respect to the same circle, prove the relations Q = RP, P = RQ,
R = QP.
2. Show that by a pedal transformation a parabola with its focus at
the origin of the transformation is transformed into the tangent line
at the vertex of the parabola.
3. Show that by a pedal transformation an ellipse with its focus at
the origin of the transformation is transformed into a circle with its
diameter coinciding with the major diameter of the ellipse. State and
prove the corresponding theorem for the hyperbola.
Qu / \j
4. Find the curve into which the ellipse ^ f ^ = 1 is transformed
CL O
by a pedal transformation with its origin at the center of the ellipse.
56. The line element. With the use of Cartesian coordinates the
contact transformations may be looked at from a new viewpoint
by the aid of the concept of the line element. A line element may
be denned as a point with an associated direction. More precisely
let there be given three numbers (#, y, p), where the numbers
x and y are to be interpreted as the usual Cartesian coordinates
of a point in the plane and p is to be interpreted as the slope
or direction of a line through the point. Then the three quanti
ties taken together define a line element. A line element may
be roughly represented by plotting a point M and drawing a short
line through M in the direction p, but this line must be con
sidered as having no length just as the dot which represents M
must be considered as without magnitude. There are oo 3 line
elements in the plane out of which we may form a onedimensional
extent of line elements by taking #, y, and p as functions of a
single parameter; thus,
P =
There are two types of onedimensional extents :
TYPE I. The functions / x (X) and/ 2 (X) may reduce to constants.
In this case the onedimensional extent consists of a fixed point
with all possible directions associated with it.
134 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
TYPE II. The point (a?, y) may describe a curve the equations
of which are the first two of (1). Then the third equation of (1)
associates with every point of that curve a certain direction.
It is obviously convenient that the direction associated with each
point of the curve should be that of the tangent to the curve. The
necessary and sufficient condition for this is that by virtue of (1)
we should have dx pdy = 0.
A onedimensional extent of line elements defined by equation (1)
shall be called a union of line elements when it satisfies the con
dition dx pdy = 0. It is evident that the first type of extents
always satisfies this condition and that the second type satisfies the
condition when the direction of each element is that of the curve
on which the point of the element lies.
Two unions of line elements have contact with each other if they
have a line element in common. Two unions of the first type have
contact, therefore, when they coincide ; one of the first type has con
tact with one of the second when the point of the first lies on the
curve of the second; and two elements of the second type have
contact when their curves are tangent in the ordinary sense.
Any transformation of line elements defined by the equations
tf=f*(MP\ (2)
P =/B( X I y*p)>
where the functions are bound by the condition
(3)
where p is not identically zero, is called a contact transformation.
It is clear that by such a transformation a union of line ele
ments is transformed into a union of line elements and that two
unions which are in contact are transformed into two which are
in contact.
The enlarged pointpoint transformation (3), 51, and the
enlarged pointcurve transformation (9), 54, are cases of the
general contact transformation (2). In fact, any contact trans
formation may be reduced to one of these cases. To show this
let us proceed to deduce from (2) equations which are free from
p and p . Two cases only can occur.
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 135
CASE I. The first two equations in (2) may each be free from JP.
Then equation (3) gives the condition
which must be true for all values of the ratios dx : dy. Hence we have
tt j^a^s
dy dy
whence, by eliminating p and solving for p , we have the result
that the contact transformation (2) is in this case of the form
=
which is exactly that of (3), 51.
By this transformation any onedimensional extent of line ele
ments which form a union of the first type is transformed into a
union of the first type, and any union of the second type is trans
formed into a union of the second type.
CASE II. At least one of the first two equations in (2) contains^.
It is then possible to find one, but only one, equation free from
p and p . Let that equation be
^(^#a/,y)=0.
From this equation we find
dF, , dF, , dF, , , dF, , A
dx + dy + : dx f + dy 1 =0,
dx dy dx 1 dtf
which must be identical with (3). By comparison we find
dF __ dF _ d_F_ _dF
~dx~ ~dy " ^dx 1 ~ dy
PP P P 1
136 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
from which p and p can be found, with the result that the contact
transformation (2) can in this case be put into the form
which is exactly that of (9), 54.
By this transformation any union of the first type is transformed
into a union of the second type, each element of the former being
transformed into an element of the latter.
As an example consider the transformation
If written in the form (5) this becomes
The geometrical meaning of these equations is simple. Any line
element (x, y, p) is transformed into a line element (V, y\ p ~) so
placed that the point (V, y ) is at a distance k from the point (V, # ),
and the line joining (V, y 1 ) to (#, y) is perpendicular to the line
element. A transformed line element is parallel to the original
element. Otherwise stated, each line element is moved parallel
to itself through a distance k in a direction perpendicular to the
direction of the element. Each line element is therefore trans
formed into two line elements. A union of the first type, consist
ing of line elements through the same point, is transformed into a
union consisting of the line elements of a circle with that point as
a center and a radius k. Any curve c is transformed into two
curves parallel to c at a normal distance k from c.
This transformation is sometimes called a dilation, suggesting
that each point of the plane is dilated into a circle.
CONTACT TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE PLANE 137
EXERCISES
1. Show that the transformation
y =xpy,
p =x,
is a contact transformation and study its properties.
2. Show that the transformation
p =p,
is a contact transformation and study its properties.
3. Show that any differential equation of the form f I x, y, ^ ) =
may be written in the form f(x, y, p) = and considered as defining a
doubly infinite extent of line elements. To solve the equation is to
arrange the elements into unions of line elements. In general, the solu
tion consists of a family of curves. Any union formed by taking one
element from each curve of a family is a singular solution. Note that
an equation f(x, y) = can also be interpreted in this way, and that
the family of solutions consists of points on the curve f(x, y) = with
all the line elements through each, while the singular solution is the
curve /(x, y) = with its tangent elements.
4. Study the differential equation y px = in the light of Ex. 3.
Show that the singular solution is the onedimensional extent of line
elements which consists of all elements through the origin.
5. Apply to Ex. 4 the dilation x =x  , y = y\
I
p =p . Show that the differential equation becomes y p x Vl+^? 2 = 0.
What becomes of the singular solution and the family of solutions ?
6. Study Clairaut s equation, y=px+f(p), by the method of
Ex. 3 and show geometrically that the family of solutions consists of
the straight lines y = ex +/(c). What is the singular solution ? Apply
to the variables in the equation the transformation xx + yy = 1 and
determine the effect on the equation and its solutions.
CHAPTER IX
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES
57. Special tetracyclical coordinates. We shall discuss in this
chapter a system of coordinates especially useful for the treat
ment of the circle. These coordinates are not dependent upon the
Cartesian coordinates, though they are often so presented. On the
contrary they may be set up independently by elementary geometry
for real points and then extended to imaginary and infinite points
in the usual manner. It is therefore not to be expected that the
geometry in the imaginary domain and at
infinity should agree in all respects with
that obtained by the use of Cartesian
coordinates.
The coordinates we are to discuss are
called tetracyclical coordinates, and we
begin, for convenience, with a special type.
Let OX and OY (Fig. 45) be two
straight lines of reference intersecting at
right angles at 0, and let P be any real point of the plane. Let
MP and NP be the distances of P from OX and Y, respectively,
taken with the usual convention as to signs, and let OP be the
distance of P from 0, taken always positive. Then the special
tetracyclical coordinates of P are the ratios
N
M
FIG. 45
= OP :NP:
(1)
from which it follows that the quantities x are connected by
the fundamental relation
(x)=xt+xtx0 t =Q. (2)
It is obvious that to any real point corresponds one set of coor
dinates and, conversely, to any real set of the ratios x^x^ix^.x^
which satisfy the relation (2), and for which x 4 3 s 0, corresponds
one real point P. We extend the coordinate system in the usual
138
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES
139
manner by the convention that any set of ratios satisfying (2)
shall define a real or an imaginary point of the plane, the ratios
0:0:0:0 being of course unallowed.
As the real point P recedes from 0, the ratios approach a limit
ing set of values 1:0:0:0. To see this we write equation (1) in
the form
NP MP
= 1:
OP OP OP
cos 6 sin 6
OP OP
where 6 = the angle MOP. The limit of the ratios of x i is there
fore 1:0:0:0. Hence we say that by the use of the special tetra
cyclical coordinates the plane is regarded as having a single real point
at infinity. This point, however, is not the only one which must
be considered at infinity, as will appear later.
58. Distance between two points. Let C (y^ y^y ^y^) and
P (x^: x 2 :x 3 : # 4 ) (Fig. 46) be two real points, and let d = CP, the
distance between them. Then, by trigonometry,
d*= OP 2 + ~OC 2  2 OP OC cos (^ 2 ),
where 1= =the angle XOP and 2 = the angle XOC. But from
the definition of the coordinates and y
from the relations
OPcos0= 2 ,
x,
OP sin = 8 ,
X A
OC cos = 2 , OC sin =
*
the above equation can be written
FIG. 46
^
This equation, obtained by the use of real points, is now taken
as the definition of the distance between imaginary points.
Equation (1) can be written
2
140 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
where in accordance with the usual notation co(x, y) denotes the
polar* of the form o>(V).
From (3) it appears that d oo when y^ or when # 4 = 0. Hence
the locus of the points at infinity is defined by the equation x 4 = 0.
Since always CD (V) = 0, the points at infinity satisfy also the con
dition x% + x = 0, from which it appears that the point 1:0:0:0
is the only real point at infinity, as we have already seen. The
nature of the locus at infinity will appear later.
59. The circle. If we take the usual definition of a circle, the
equation of a circle with center y { and radius r can be written from
y? 1 *y? t 2y? t +<y l f*yjx t =0. (1)
This is of the type
and the relations between the coefficients a. and the center and
radius of the circle are readily found. For we have by direct
comparison of (1) and (2)
P a i=y# P a i=2y* P a B= 2 ^ P a *=yi r \
From these and the fundamental relation y%\y% y^J^ we
easily compute the following values :
(3)
o_
* A homogeneous polynomial is called a form. The general quadratic form in
n variables is
n ,
and the bilinear form *aaM!/t
is called the polar form of (1). If by a linear transformation of the variables xl
the form (1) is transformed into
its polar is transformed into
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 141
which give the coordinates of the center and the radius of the
circle in terms of the coefficients a i of equation (2).
These results, obtained primarily for real circles, are now gen
eralized by definition as follows :
Every linear equation of the form (2) represents a circle, the center
and the radius of which are given by equations (3).
We may classify circles by means of the expression for the radius.
For that purpose let us denote the numerator of r 2 in (3) by rj (V);
that is > 17 (V) = <+ al 4 a,a,. (4)
We make, then, the following cases :
CASE I. ij (a) = 0. Nonspecial circles.
Subcase 1. a l = 0. Proper circles. Equation (2) is reducible to
(1) and represents the locus of a point at a constant distance from
a fixed point. Neither center nor radius is necessarily real, but the
center is not at infinity and the radius is finite. The circle does not
contain the real point at infinity, since 1:0:0:0 will not satisfy
equation (2).
Subcase 2. a^= 0. Ordinary straight lines. The radius becomes
infinite and the center is the real point at infinity. The equation
may be written, by 57, in the form
a z NP + a & MP + 4 = 0, + al * 0)
which, as in Cartesian geometry, is a straight line. This line
passes through the real point at infinity. In fact, the necessary
and sufficient condition that equation (2) should be satisfied by
the coordinates of the real point at infinity is that a l = 0. Hence
an ordinary straight line may be defined as a nonspecial circle which
passes through the real point at infinity.
CASE II. 77 (a) = 0. Special circles.
Since a 2 2 + # 3 2 = 4 a^a, the coordinates of the center may be written
Subcase 1. a^ 0. Point circles. The radius is zero and the coordi
nates of the center are those of a point not at infinity. The center
may be any finite point. It is obvious that if the center is real, it is
the only real point on the circle, and hence the name " point circle."
The point circles do not pass through the real point at infinity.
142 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
By (2), 58, the equation of a point circle may be written
w(x, #)=0,
where (?/) 0. Comparing with (4), we see how the equation
77 (a) = may be deduced from CD (y) = 0.
Subcase 2. a 1 = 0. Special straight lines. The radius becomes inde
terminate, and the center, given by (4), becomes 2 a^ : a z : a s ^ 0,
which is a point at infinity. The special straight lines pass through
the real point at infinity. In fact, a special straight line may be
defined as a special circle which passes through the real point at infinity.
We have seen that the locus of all points at infinity is # 4 = 0,
which is the equation of a circle belonging to the case now being
considered, and with its center at 1 : : : 0. Hence we say :
The locus at infinity is a special straight line whose center is the
real point at infinity.
EXERCISES
1. Consider the point circle 3^=0. Show that it is made up of
two onedimensional extents ("threads") expressed by the equations
a?! : x 2 : x s : x : 1 : i : \, where X is an arbitrary parameter. Show
that these threads have the one point 0:0:0:1 in common, but that
neither can be expressed by a single equation in tetracyclical coordi
nates. Hence note the difference between this locus and that expressed
by ar 2 + y 2 = in Cartesian coordinates.
2. As in Ex. 1, show that the special circle x 4 = is composed of two
threads having the real point at infinity in common.
3. Examine the special circles x 2 \ ix 3 = and x 2 ix s = and show
that these two and the two in Exs. 1 and 2 are made up of different
combinations of the same four threads.
4. Show that any special circle is made up as is the circle in Ex. 1.
60. Relation between tetracyclical and Cartesian coordinates. If we
introduce Cartesian coordinates, by which, in Fig. 45,
there exists for any real point of the plane the following relation
between the special tetracyclical coordinates and the Cartesian
coordinates : ox =x 2 +if
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 143
These equations, derived for real points of the plane at a finite
distance from 0, can now be used to define the relation between
the imaginary and infinite points introduced into each system of
coordinates.
There appear, then, exceptional points. In the first place, we
notice that the tetracyclical coordinates take the unallowed values
0:0:0:0 when x 2 + y* = 0, t = 0. That is, the circle points at
infinity necessary in the Cartesian geometry have no place in the
tetracyclical geometry. Furthermore, any point on the line at
infinity t = 0, other than a circle point, corresponds to the real
point at infinity 1:0:0:0 in the tetracyclical coordinates.
If the tetracyclical coordinates are given, the Cartesian coordi
nates are obtained through the equations xt : yt : t 2 = x 2 : x 3 : x^. These
equations will determine a single point on the Cartesian plane
unless x 2 = x s = # 4 = 0. In this case t = and the ratio x : y is
indeterminate. That is, the real point at infinity in tetracyclical
coordinates corresponds to the entire line at infinity in Cartesian
coordinates. Any other point on the tetracyclical locus at infinity
# 4 = has coordinates of the form x l : 1 : i : 0, and no Cartesian
coordinates can be found corresponding to these values.
Hence, in Cartesian coordinates we find certain points, the circle
points at infinity, which do not exist in tetracyclical coordinates, and
in tetracyclical coordinates we find certain points, the imaginary points
at infinity, which do not exist in the Cartesian coordinates. We also
find that the real point at infinity in tetracyclical coordinates corre
sponds to the entire line at infinity in Cartesian coordinates, and, con
versely, that any point at infinity in Cartesian coordinates corresponds
to the real point at infinity in tetracyclical coordinates. With these
exceptions the relation between the coordinates is one to one.
The exceptional cases bear out the statements in 3 and 4 as
to the artificial nature of the conventions as to imaginary points
and points at infinity. Since the Cartesian coordinates are more
common, there is some danger of thinking that the conventions
there made are in some way essential. The discussion of this text
shows, however, that the tetracyclical conventions may be made
independently of the Cartesian ones, and the geometry thus deduced
is equally as valid as the Cartesian. As long as either set of
coordinates is used by itself, the difference in the conventions is
144 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
unnoticeable. It is only when we wish to pass from one set of
coordinates to the other that we need to consider this difference.
61. Orthogonal circles. Consider two proper circles with real
centers C a and C b and real radii r a and r b , intersecting in a real
point P. Then, if (r a , r b ) is the angle between the radii C a P and
(7 6 P, and d is the length of the line C a C w we have, from trigonometry,
cos(r a , r b ) =  2 
But the angle between the circles is either equal or supple
mentary to the angle between their radii. Hence, if we call 6 the
angle between the circles we have
cos 6 = 
If the equations of the two circles are
/y.r_l_/y r_l_/Y r_l_/Y r f~\\
and b& + b& + b s x s + b^ = (2)
respectively, the formula for the angle may be reduced by (3), 59,
and (4), 59, to the form
f .. f
aJ+ a* 4 A 6 2 2 + J s 2  4
or, more compactly,
cos<? = *=, (3)
where ?y(, 5) is the polar of 77 (a).
This formula, which has been obtained for two real proper circles
intersecting in a real point, is now taken as the definition of the
angle between any two circles of any types whose equations are
given by (1) and (2). We leave it for the reader to show that if
one or both of the circles is a real straight line, the definition
agrees with the usual definition.
The condition that two circles should be orthogonal is then
l(,*) = 0. (4)
If the circle (1) is a special circle, the coordinates of its center
have been shown to be 2 a^ : a 2 : a & : 2 a^ and equation (4) is the
TETRACYCLICAL COOBDINATES 145
condition that this center should lie on (2). Hence a special circle,
whether a point circle or a special straight line, is orthogonal to
another circle when and only when the center of the special circle lies
on the other circle.
We might equally well say that a special circle makes any angle
with a circle on which its center lies, since in such a case cos in
(3) is indeterminate.
It is possible in an infinity of ways to find four circles which
are mutually orthogonal. For if
2<W= (5)
is any circle, the circle
2**= (6)
may be found in oo 2 ways orthogonal to (5), since the ratios b. have
to satisfy only one linear equation of the form (4). Circles (5)
and (6) being fixed, the circle
X<V = (7)
may be found in an infinite number of ways orthogonal to (5) and
(6), since the ratios c { have to satisfy only two linear equations.
Finally, the circle
*
may be found orthogonal to (5), (6), and (7) by solving three
linear equations for e { .
It is geometrically evident that at least one of these circles is
imaginary.
EXERCISES
1. Prove, as stated in the text, that formula (3) gives the ordi
nary angle in the cases in which one or both of the circles is a
straight line.
2. Prove that a special circle is orthogonal to itself.
3. What is the angle between a special circle and another circle not
through its center ?
4. Prove that the circles x l x 4 = 0, x 2 = 0, x s = are mutually
orthogonal and find a fourth circle orthogonal to them.
5. Prove that a^ = 0, # 2 = 0, cc 3 = are mutually orthogonal. Can a
fourth circle be found orthogonal to them ? Explain.
146 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
6. Find all circles orthogonal to the circle at infinity # 4 = 0.
7. Find the equations of all circles orthogonal to the point circle
x l = 0. How do they lie in the plane ?
8. Find the equations of all circles orthogonal to the real proper
circle x l x 4 = 0.
9. Show that all circles whose coefficients a { satisfy a linear equation
are in general orthogonal to a fixed circle and find that circle.
62. Pencils of circles. Consider two circles
<*&+ a fr + V + a t x t = CO
5^+5^+^+6^=0. (2)
With reference to them we shall prove first the following
theorem :
/. Any two circles intersect in two and only two points. These points
may be coincident, in which case the circles are said to be tangent.
To prove this we note that if equations (1) and (2) are inde
pendent, at least one of the determinants, aJbj ajb^ must be different
from zero. Hence we can solve for one pair of variables, x i and Xj,
, in terms of the other two. For example, we may find from (1) and
(2) # 1 =<? 1 # 3 + Vv X 2 = C 3 X 3~^~ C 4 X 4 ^ these values are substituted
in the fundamental relation o>(V)=0, there results a quadratic
equation in x 3 and x^. This determines two values of x s : x^ and
from each of these the ratios x l : x 2 are determined. This proves
the theorem.
It is evident that the circle points at infinity which are intro
duced as a convenient fiction in Cartesian geometry do not appear
here. In Cartesian geometry it is found that there are always two
sets of coordinates which satisfy the equation of any circle, and we
are consequently led to declare that all circles pass through the
same two imaginary points at infinity. By the use of tetracyclical
coordinates there are no two points at infinity common to all
circles. In fact the circle (1) meets the locus at infinity x^= in
the two points a z T a t i : a^ : ia l : 0, which are not the same for
all circles.
TETKACYCLICAL COORDINATES 147
Theorem I holds of course for the case in which the circles are
straight lines, one of the points of intersection being always the real
point at infinity. Two straight lines which are tangent at the real
point at infinity are parallel lines in the Cartesian geometry.
Consider now the equation
where X is an arbitrary parameter. For any value of X (3) defines
a circle which passes through the points common to (1) and (2)
and intersects (1) and (2) in no other point. The totality of the
circles corresponding to all values of X forms a pencil of circles.
If (1) and (2) are real circles, the pencil (3) may be of one of
the following types :
(1) proper circles intersecting in the same two real points ;
(2) proper circles intersecting in the same two imaginary points ;
(3) proper circles tangent in the same point ;
(4) proper concentric circles ;
(5) a pencil of intersecting straight lines ;
(6) a pencil of parallel straight lines.
II. In any pencil of circles there is one and only one straight line,
unless the pencil consists entirely of straight lines.
The condition that (3) should represent a straight line is
i+ X6 i= 0,
which determines one and only one value of X unless both a l and
b l are zero. In the latter case all circles defined by (3) are straight
lines. This proves the theorem.
The straight line of the pencil is called the radical axis of any
two circles of the pencil. Its equation is
(A AX+0*A AX+(A AX= 
This is a special line when
If the circles (1) and (2) are real and proper, the last equation
can be satisfied only when
148 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and the equations (1), (2), and (3) represent concentric circles,
and the radical axis is the line at infinity x^ 0.
In all other cases the radical axis of two real circles is a real
straight line.
///. In any pencil of circles there are two and only two (distinct or
imaginary) special circles, unless the pencil consists entirely of special
circles.
By 59 the condition that (3) should be a special circle is
or 97 (a) + 2 \rj (a, b) + \ 2 rj (5) = 0.
This equation determines two distinct or equal values of X
unless it is identically satisfied. Hence the theorem is proved.
If the pencil is defined by two real proper circles, the special
circles are point circles, since by II there is only one straight line
in the pencil and that is real and nonspecial. It is not difficult to
show that if the circles of the pencil intersect in real points, the
special circles have imaginary centers ; if the circles of the pencil
intersect in imaginary points, the special circles have real centers ;
and if the circles of the pencil are tangent, the centers of the special
circles coincide at the point of tangency.
IV. A circle orthogonal to two circles of a pencil is orthogonal to all
circles of the pencil.
Let ^\o.x.= be orthogonal to (1) and (2). Then
T?(C, fl)=0, 17(0, &) = 0;
whence 77 (c, a f X6) = 97 (<?, a) + XT; (<?, 5) =
for all values of X. This proves the theorem.
It follows from this and 61 that a circle orthogonal to all
circles of a pencil passes through the centers of the special circles
of the pencil, and, conversely, a circle through the centers of
the special circles is orthogonal to all circles of the pencil. If the
pencil has only one special circle, the orthogonal circles can be
determined as circles which pass through the center of the special
circle and are ortliogonal to one other circle of the pencil, say the
radical axis.
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES
149
These considerations lead to the following theorem :
V. For any pencil of circles there exists another pencil such that all
circles of either pencil are orthogonal to all circles of the other, and
any circle which is orthogonal to all circles of one pencil belongs to the
other. The points common to the circles of one pencil are the centers
of the special circles of the other.
Fig. 47 shows such mutually orthogonal pencils.
FIG. 47
EXERCISES
1. Show that two real circles intersect in two real distinct points,
are tangent, or intersect in two conjugate imaginary points according as
2. Show that the point circles in a pencil of real circles have real and
distinct, conjugate imaginary, or coincident centers, according as the
circles of the pencil intersect in conjugate imaginary, real and distinct,
or coincident points. In the last case show that the centers of the point
circles coincide with the point of tangency of the circles of the pencil.
3. Show that circles which intersect in the same two points at infinity
are concentric.
4. Prove that the radical axis of a pencil of circles passes through
the centers of the circles of the orthogonal pencil.
5. Prove that the radical axes of three circles not belonging to the
same pencil meet in a point.
6. Take ^a^= 0, ^T&.x t = 0, ^Pc^.= 0, any three circles not be
longing to the same pencil, and show that ^V (a,. } \b { + /*c { ) x f =
defines a twodimensional extent of circles (a circle complex) consisting
of circles orthogonal to a fixed circle. Discuss the number and position
of the point circles, the straight lines, and the special lines of a complex.
7. Show that the totality of straight lines form a complex. To what
circle are they orthogonal ?
8. Show that circles common to two complexes form a pencil.
150 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
63. The general tetracyclical coordinates. Let us take as circles
of reference any four circles not intersecting in the same point
and the equations of which, in the special tetracyclical coordinates
thus far used, are
and let us place
n ^T =2 n T, 4 H v, \~ n T. \ n T.
(i)
Since the four circles do not meet in a point their equations
cannot be satisfied by the same values of #,., and therefore the
determinant of the coefficients in (1) does not vanish. Therefore
the equations can be solved for x t with the result
where A f is the cofactor of a i in the determinant of the coefficients
of (1), B f the cofactor of $, etc.
The relation between the ratios x.x.x. x. and X : JT : X : X
1234 12o4
is therefore one to one, and the latter ratios may be taken as the
coordinates of any point. These are the most general tetracyclical
coordinates.
A geometric meaning may be given to these coordinates as
follows :
If the circle with the Cartesian equation
a(x*+y^ + lx + cy + d = Q
is a real proper circle, and the point P (x, y) is a real point outside
of it, then the expression
is proportional to the power of P with respect to the circle ; that is,
to the length of the square of the tangent from P to the circle. If
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 151
P is a real point inside the circle, the power may be defined as the
product of the lengths of the segments of any chord through P.
Also, if
bx + cy + d =
is a real straight line, the expression
bx + cy + d
is proportional to the length of the perpendicular from any real
point to the line.
By virtue of 60 these relations hold for a linear equation in
tetracyclical coordinates. Of course if the points, circles, or lines
involved are imaginary, the phraseology is largely a matter of
definition. We may say, then :
The most general tetracyclical coordinates of a point consist of the
ratios of four quantities each of which is equal to a constant times the
power of the point with reference to a circle of reference, or, in case
the circle of reference is a straight line, to a constant times the length
of the perpendicular from the point to the line.*
By means of (1) the fundamental relation co (x) = goes over
into the new fundamental relation
o> (3)
and the polar equation o> (x, y) = becomes
0(.z;r)=2X*;r=o, (4)
where the determinant  %  does not vanish.
The real point at infinity has now the coordinates Xj Xj X 3 : X 4
= aj Pj 7 1 : Sj, and hence by a proper choice of the circles of
reference may be given any desired coordinates. The locus at
infinity has the equation
* Some authors prefer to define the coordinate as the quotient of the power of the
point divided by the radius, since this quotient goes over into twice the length of
the perpendicular from the point to a straight line when the radius of the circle
becomes infinite. This definition fails if the circle of reference is a point circle
when the corresponding coordinate is the square of the distance of the point from
the center of the circle. Since the constant which may multiply each coordinate is
arbitrary, we prefer the definition in the text.
152 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
A circle with the equation
^+v > +v*+v
has in the new coordinates the equation
A^ + A^ + A^ + AtX^Q,
where p^= o^ + ^^h 7^3+ M*>
By virtue of these relations the condition for a special circle
i) (a) = becomes a new relation
H(J) = 5)^^=0, (6)
and the condition rj (a, 5) = for orthogonal circles becomes
0. (7)
The form H (A) may be computed directly from II (X) as follows :
By formulas (4) and (2), 58, the equation of a point circle
with the center Y. is A
JT 1*5 v
Hence, if A
is a point circle, we must have
pA, = a {l Y, + a i2 Y 2 + a F, + a ft F 4 . (8)
These equations can be solved for Y i since the determinant a ik \
does not vanish. But Y t being the coordinates of a point must sat
isfy the fundamental relation (3). Substituting, we obtain a rela
tion between the A s to be satisfied by any point circle. This can
be nothing else than the condition
By virtue of (8) we have, accordingly,
But (8) can be written oA t =
Hence we have H = Ktt ( F). (9)
TETKACYCLICAL COORDINATES 153
Also the form fl (X) may be computed from the form H 04) as
follows : If A is a point circle, equation (7) expresses the condition
that the center of A should lie on a circle B. But if X. are the
coordinates of the center of A, this condition is
Hence, by comparison with (7),
^=M,+M 2 +M3+M4 (10)
Since A is a point circle its coefficients A i satisfy (6). Therefore,
if equations (10) are solved for A. and the result substituted in
(6), we have a relation satisfied by the coordinates of any point.
This can only be
By virtue of (10) we have, accordingly,
But (10) can be written trX.= 
Hence we have O = Tffl (A). (11)
64. Orthogonal coordinates. Particular interest attaches to the case
in which the four circles of reference are mutually orthogonal. If
the circle X.= is orthogonal to the circle X k = 0, we have, from (7),
63, b ik = 0. Therefore, for an orthogonal system of coordinates
WP havp
H oi)= Mi 2 + Ml + Ml + M*
Equations (10), 63, give
pX i =k i A { ,
whence the fundamental relation for the point coordinates is
Without changing the coordinate circles it is obviously possible
to change the coefficients in (1), 63, so that & f =l. Then we have
154 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
A special case is obtained by placing
where x. are the special coordinates of 57. The four circles of
reference are a real circle with center at and radius 1, two per
pendicular straight lines through 0, and an imaginary circle with
center at and radius i.
65. The linear transformation. Let x { be any set (special or
general) of tetracyclical coordinates where a>(V)=0 is the fun
damental relation, and consider the transformation denned by the
equations
px{ = a^ + a l2 x 2 + a u x s + a^,
ax ax o^,
where the determinant of the coefficients \a ik does not vanish and
where x\ satisfies the same fundamental relation as x?
By means of (1) any point x i is transformed into a point a/., and
since the equations can be solved for x t , the relation between a
point and its transformed point is one to one.
By means of (1), also, any circle
Vi+V 2 +V 3 +%=
is transformed into the circle
a(x[ + a 2 x 2 + X + X = >
where pa[ = A^a^ f A i2 a z + A i8 a s + A^a^,
Now, if y i is a fixed point, # f a variable point, and y\ and x( the
transformed points respectively, the equation
"><> y)=
is transformed into the equation
o><y, y)=o,
since the equation o> (V) = is transformed into co (V) = 0.
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 155
That is, by the transformation (1) special circles are transformed
into special circles, the center of each special circle being transformed
into the center of the transformed circle.
It follows from the above that nonspecial circles are transformed
into nonspecial circles, for if a nonspecial circle were transformed
into a special circle, the inverse transformation would transform a
special circle into a nonspecial circle, and since the inverse trans
formation is also of the form (1), this is impossible.
We may accordingly infer that by the transformation (1) the
equation rj (a) = is transformed into itself.
We may distinguish between two main classes of transformations
of the form (1) according as the real point at infinity is invariant
or not. The truth of the following theorem is evident :
If a linear transformation leaves the real point at infinity invariant,
every straight line is transformed into a straight line and every proper
circle into a proper circle. If a linear transformation transforms the
real point at infinity into a point and transforms a point into
the real point at infinity, any straight line is transformed into a circle
through 0, and any circle through is transformed into a straight line.
Since, as we have seen, the equation 77 (a) = is transformed into
itself, we may write r;(V) = kr](cf), the value of k depending on
the factor p in (1). With the same factor we have 77 (> ) = krj (6)
and ?; (V, 5 ) = Jcr/ (a, ). Hence by (3), 61, the angle between
two circles is equal to the angle between the two transformed
circles. The linear transformation is therefore conformal.
66. The metrical transformation. We shall prove first that any
transformation of the metrical group can be expressed as a linear
transformation of tetracyclical coordinates.
We have seen in 45 that a transformation .of the metrical group
is a linear transformation of the Cartesian coordinates x and y
together with the condition (V 2 + y 2 ) = # 2 (# 8 + ?/ 2 ). It follows from
this that the transformation can be expressed as a linear transfor
mation of the special coordinates of 57. But the general tetra
cyclical coordinates are linear combinations of the special ones.
Hence the theorem is proved.
Since a metrical transformation transforms straight lines into
straight lines, it must leave the real point at infinity invariant.
156 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Conversely, any linear transformation of tetracyclical coordinates
which leaves the real point at infinity invariant is a transformation of
the metrical group. This may be shown as follows :
If the real point at infinity is invariant, the locus at infinity is
transformed into itself, since it is a special circle with its center at
the real point at infinity. Therefore any linear transformation of
general tetracyclical coordinates which leaves the real point at infinity
invariant is equivalent to a transformation of the special coordinates
of 57, which leaves the point 1:0:0:0 invariant and transforms
the locus # 4 = into itself ; that is, to a transformation of the form
px( = a^+ a l2 x 2 + is z,+ M * 4 ,
Since x? + af  x[x[ = k 2 (x\ + xl  a^), (2)
we have, for the coefficients, the conditions
+ i = < + i = n = I
(3)
Now the last three equations of (1) are equivalent to the equa
tions in Cartesian coordinates
and the conditions imposed on the coefficients are exactly those
necessary to make this a metrical transformation. The first equa
tion in (1) is a consequence of the last three equations in (1) and
the condition (2). In fact, the coefficients # 22 , # 23 , o: go , and # 33 may
first be determined to satisfy equations (3), the coefficients # 24 and
a^ may be assumed arbitrarily, and the coefficients # n , a l2 , # 13 ,
and a u are then determined by (3). This proves the theorem.
67. Inversion. Two points P and P f are inverse with respect to a
nonspecial circle C if every circle through P and P r is orthogonal
to C. From this it follows that if C is a straight line two inverse
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 157
points are symmetrical with respect to that line ; that is, the straight
line PP is perpendicular to C and bisected by it. By a limit process
it is natural to define the inverse of a point on the straight line C
as the point itself.
If C is a proper circle with radius r and center A (Fig. 48), the
inverse of A is the real point at infinity, since the circles which
pass through A and the real point at infinity are straight lines
perpendicular to C. If P is not at A
nor on (7, the straight line PP must
pass through A, since that line is a
circle through P and P which by defi
nition must be orthogonal to C. Take
now the point M midway between P
and P so that
and with M as a center construct a
circle through P and P . If R is the radius of this circle,
By squaring the last two equations and subtracting one from the
other, we have AM*X* = AP AP .
But the condition for orthogonal circles gives
R*+r 2 AM 2 = 0.
Hence we have as the condition satisfied by two inverse points
with respect to a circle with radius r and center A
AP.AP = r\ (1)
Conversely, if P and P 1 are two points so placed that the line
PP passes through A and the condition (1) is satisfied, the line PP 1
and the circle described on PP as a diameter are easily proved to
be orthogonal to C. Then any circle through P and P is orthogonal
to C by theorem IV, 62. Hence P and P are inverse points.
The condition (1) shows that if one of the points P and P is
inside of the circle, the other is outside of it. The condition holds
also for the point A, since if AP = 0, AP =<x). By a natural
extension of the definition of inverse points, condition (1) can also
be taken to hold for a point on the circle (7, so that we may say
that any point on the circle C is its own inverse.
158 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
It is to be noticed that inverse points as here defined are also
inverse in the sense of 53 if the circle C is a proper circle, but
the definition given in this section is wider than that in 53, since
it holds when the circle becomes a straight line.
An inversion with respect to a nonspecial circle C is defined as
a point transformation by which each point of the plane is trans
formed into its inverse point with respect to that circle. We shall
proceed to prove that any inversion can be represented by a linear
transformation of tetracyclical coordinates. It is first of all to
be noticed that by an inversion each point of the circle C is
left unchanged by the inversion. This condition is met by the
transformation r v ^ ^o\
px^^+a.^x,, (2)
where ^ <?#= is the equation of C. Now let ]?5 t # t = be any
circle through x i and its transformed point x\. Since V 6,^ = and
V5.#J=0, we have, from (2),
A+A+ a A+ a A=
If V6^.= is orthogonal to (7, we have
(4)
and therefore if (4) is satisfied by all values of 5< which satisfy (3),
we may place ^~
dc {
It remains to determine X. For that purpose we use the con
dition that a) (x) = and ft) (V) = 0, and for convenience writing A
in place of the symbol **J\c k x k , we have
w (\x + aA)=2 \Aco (x, a) + A 2 (a) = 0. (5)
But .() (j) and, by (11), 63,
($?7\ 7 N 1 7 r ^ ^
J = Aj?7 (c) = /? I c f <?
/ L i i .
Hence co (a) =  A; [a l c 1 + 2 ^ 2 +
i ^ v lx^ ^
and since ft) (#) =  2^a.
/lfm\
we have
a,
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 159
r  , . ~L^ da) k^ k .
Therefore o> <>, a) =  2,*,^ = g 2/^ = ^ ^,
and, from (5), X =  w () = 77 (c).
#
We have consequently built up the transformation
( 6 )
which is an inverse transformation, since it transforms any point x i
into a point x\ such that any circle through x { and o^ is orthogonal
to C. The theorem is therefore proved. It is to be noticed that the
transformation is completely determined when the circle C is known.
68. The linear group. We are now prepared to prove the fol
lowing proposition :
Any linear transformation by which the real point at infinity is
invariant or is transformed into a point not at infinity is the product
of an inversion and a metrical transformation.
To prove this let T be a transformation of the form
by means of which the relation to (x) = is transformed into itself.
If the real point at infinity is invariant, the transformation is
metrical ( 66). If the real point at infinity is transformed into a
finite point A, let A be taken as the center of a circle C with respect
to which an inversion I is carried out. By I the point A goes into
the real point at infinity. Hence the product 7T leaves the point at
infinity invariant and is therefore a metrical transformation. Call
it M. Then IT = M
whence T = 1~ 1 M=IM.
We have written I~ l = I because an inversion repeated gives the
identical transformation, and hence an inversion is its own inverse.
The tetracyclical coordinates are adapted to the study of the
properties of figures which are not altered by this group of linear
transformations. In the geometry of these properties the straight
line is not to be distinguished from a circle, since any point of the
plane may be transformed into the real point at infinity, and thereby
any circle may be transformed into a straight line and vice versa.
Any pencil of circles may in this way be transformed into a pencil
160 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETBY
of straight lines and many properties of pencils of circles obtained
from the more evident properties of pencils of straight lines.
The distinction between special and nonspecial circles is, how
ever, fundamental, since a circle of one of these classes is trans
formed into a circle of the same class.
EXERCISES
1. Write formulas (6), 67, for the special coordinates of 57 and
for the orthogonal coordinates of 64.
2. From (6), 67, obtain in the coordinates of 57 the formulas for
inversion on the circle of unit radius with its center at the origin, and
check by changing to Cartesian coordinates.
3. Show from (6), 67, that inversion on a fundamental circle
of a system of orthogonal coordinates is expressed by changing the
sign of the corresponding coordinate and leaving the other coordinates
unchanged.
4. Prove that a plane figure is unchanged by four inversions on
four orthogonal circles.
5. Show that three inversions on orthogonal circles have the same
effect as an inversion on a fourth circle orthogonal to the three.
6. Prove that the product of two inversions is commutative when
and only when they take place with reference to orthogonal circles.
7. Show that the product of two inversions on two straight lines is
a rotation about the point of intersections of the two lines.
8. By Ex. 7 show that the product of two inversions on the circles
C 1 and C 2 can be replaced by the product of the inversions on two cir
cles C[ and C z if C[ and C[ pass through an intersection of C l and C a
and make the same angle with each other.
9. Consider the curve denned by the quadratic equation
Show that any circle or straight line intersects the curve in four
points. If the coordinates are the special coordinates of 57, classify
the curve according as (1) it does not pass through the real point at
infinity, (2) it passes once through the real point at infinity, (3) it
passes twice through the real point at infinity. Obtain the Cartesian
equation for each of the classes and note the relation of the curve to
the circular points at infinity. Note that the above classification is
unessential from the standpoint of the linear group of tetracyclical
transformations.
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES 161
69. Duals of tetracyclical coordinates. By anticipating a little of
the discussion of space geometry, to be given later, we may obtain
duals to the tetracyclical coordinates. The student to whom space
geometry is unknown may postpone the reading of this section.
If we interpret the ratios x l : # 2 : x 3 : # 4 as quadriplanar point
coordinates in space of three dimensions, then
<X)=o (i)
is a surface of second order, and the geometry on this surface is
dualistic with the geometry in the plane obtained by the use of
tetracyclical coordinates.
The linear equation ^^.= represents the plane section of
the surface (1), and these sections are the duals of the circles in
the plane. The point at infinity is a point on (1) not necessarily
geometrically peculiar, and the straight lines in the tetracyclical
plane are duals to the plane sections of (1) through this point.
More specifically let us consider the specialized coordinates of
57 and place in space x l : x 2 : x s : x^= z : x : y : , the usual homoge
neous Cartesian coordinates. The fundamental equation is now
the equation ^ + ^ __ gt = Q^
which, in space, represents an elliptic paraboloid. We have, then,
the following dualistic properties:
The tetracyclical plane The elliptic paraboloid
The real point at infinity. The point at infinity on OZ.
Any circle. Any plane section.
Any proper circle. An elliptic section made by a
plane not parallel to OZ.
Any straight line. A parabolic section made by a
plane parallel to OZ.
A special circle. A section made by a tangent
plane.
A point circle. A section made by a tangent
plane not parallel to OZ.
The center of a point circle. The point of tangency.
A special straight line. A section made by a tangent
plane parallel to OZ (a minimum
plane).
The special line at infinity. The section made by the plane
at infinity.
162 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Again, if we have tetracyclical coordinates for which the funda
mental equation is 2 , , 2 , _
x^ r x. 2 
which can be obtained from the special orthogonal system given
in 64 by multiplying z 4 by i, the geometry obtained thereby is
dualistic with the geometry on the surface of the sphere
In this case the tetracyclical point at infinity is dualistic to the
point N, where the sphere is cut by OZ. Circles on the tetracyclical
plane are dualistic to circles on the sphere, the straight lines on
the plane corresponding to circles through the point N on the
sphere. This brings into clear light the absolute equivalence of a
straight line and circle by the use of tetracyclical coordinates. In
fact, the plane geometry on the tetracyclical plane is the stereo
graphic projection of the spherical geometry.
To see this take the sphere whose equation is
and let .2V (0, 0, 1) be a fixed point on it and P (f, 77, f) any point
on it. The equation of the straight line NP is
x = y = z i j
and this line intersects the plane z = in a point Q with the
coordinates t n
ir ir
From these equations and the equation f 2 f ?; 2 4 ? 2 = 1, which
expresses the fact that P is on the sphere, we may compute
from which, by placing
O &&gt; 3Un
= > iy =  8
Z 4 ^4
we have px l x 2 + / 2 1,
TETRACYCLICAL COORDINATES
163
Now, on the one hand, x l : x 2 : x a : x 4 are homogeneous Cartesian
coordinates of a point on the sphere, and, on the other hand, they are
tetracyclical coordinates of a point on the plane, being connected
with the specialized coordinates of 57 by the equations
px 1 = x{ 
= 2 a?{, px A = x, + a? 4 ,
where x(: x! 2 : x s : x[ are the special coordinates.
From this relation we may read off the following dualistic
properties :
Sphere
Any point on the sphere.
The point N.
A circle (any plane section).
A circle through N.
A section made by a tangent
plane.
A section made by a tangent
plane not passing through N.
The point of tangency of the
tangent plane.
A tangent
through N.
A point on the plane z = 1 not
coincident with N.
The section made by the plane
z = 1 (a tangent plane).
Circles tangent to each other
attf.
Plane
Any point of the plane.
The point at infinity.
Any circle.
A straight line.
A special circle.
A point circle.
The center of a point circle.
A special straight line.
The center of a special straight
line.
The special line at infinity.
Parallel lines.
plane passing
CHAPTER X
A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF COORDINATES
70. The coordinate system. Each of the two coordinates x and y
in a Cartesian system is of the type described in 7 for the coordi
nate of a point on a line. An interesting example of a more general
type of coordinates may be obtained by taking each of the coordi
nates in the manner described in 8. We shall develop a little of
the geometry obtained. The results will be of importance chiefly as
showing that much of the ordinary
conventions as to points at infinity
and the ordinary classification of
curves is dependent on the choice
of the coordinate system. This fact
has already come to light in the
use of tetracyclical coordinates. The
present chapter emphasizes the fact.
To obtain our system of coordi
nates take two axes OX and OY
(Fig. 49) intersecting in at right
angles, and on each axis take besides another point of refer
ence, A on OX and B on OY. Then, if P is any point of the plane,
to obtain the coordinates of P draw through P a parallel to OY
meeting OX in M, and a parallel to OX meeting OY m N. Let the
coordinates of M be defined as in 8 by
k. OM x.
N
M
FIG. 49
k^AM
and those of JVby
/* =
The coordinates of P may then be taken as (X, /A) or otherwise
written as (x^. x z , y^y^)* It is clear from 8 that the ordinary
Cartesian coordinates are a limiting case of these coordinates as A
and B recede to infinity.
164
A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF COOKDINATES 165
The coordinates being thus defined for real points the usual ex
tension is made to imaginary points as defined by imaginary values
of the coordinates. To consider the locus at infinity let P recede
indefinitely from 0. This may happen in three ways :
1. P may move on a straight line parallel to OX. Then the ratio
x l : x 2 approaches the limiting ratio ^ : & 2 , and the ratio y l : y z has
the constant value determined by any point on the straight line.
2. P may move on a straight line parallel to Y. Then x 1 : x 2 has
the constant value determined by a point on that line, and y l : y 2
approaches the limiting value k s : k 4 .
3. P may move on a straight line not parallel to OX or OY.
Then M and N each approaches the point at infinity on its respec
tive axis, and therefore the ratio x l : x z approaches ^ : k 2 and the
ratio y l : y z approaches Jc 3 : & 4 .
These are the only points which we recognize as at infinity. In
other words, if P recedes indefinitely from it will not be con
sidered as approaching a definite point at infinity unless the point
on the curve approaches as a limit a point on a straight line. We
have, then, the proposition i
All points at infinity have coordinates which satisfy the equation
To define the nature of the locus at infinity we note first that
an equation of the type A . ON
Oft+apiQ, (2)
if satisfied by real points, represents a straight line parallel to OX\
and the equation _
if satisfied by real points, represents a line parallel to OY. With
the usual extension of theorems in analytic geometry we say that
these equations always represent lines parallel respectively to OX
and OY. We must therefore say that equation (1) represents two
straight lines which have the point (kj & 2 , & 3 : & 4 ) in common. We
have, then, the proposition
The locus at infinity consists of two straight lines having in common
a point called the double point at infinity.
The foregoing discussion shows that an important distinction
between lines which are parallel either to OX or to OY and lines
166
TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
which are not so parallel. The straight lines which are parallel to
OX or Y we shall call special lines and divide them into two fam
ilies of parallel lines. Lines which are not special we shall call
ordinary lines. We have already seen that a special line has a
point at infinity which is peculiar to itself and that all ordinary
lines have the same point at infinity ; namely, the double point
at infinity. We may accordingly state the following theorems, the
proofs of which are obvious :
/. Two special lines of the same family have no point in common.
II. Two special lines of different families, or a special line and an
ordinary line, have only one point in common which lies in the finite
region of the plane.
III. Two nonparallel ordinary lines have always the double point
at infinity and one other finite point in common.
IV. Two parallel ordinary lines have only the double point at
infinity in common.
71. The straight line and the equilateral hyperbola. From the
equations =
which define the coordinates, we may
obtain
whence OM= ^4
Similarly, ON=
JL
B
N 1
j
IV
E
._c
M
O
D\ M
A
FIG. 50
Now let G (Fig. 50) be a fixed point with coordinates
(cc^.a^ PiP^, let CD be the line through C parallel to OY, and
let CE be the line through C parallel to OX. Then, if the line PM
meets CE in M and the line PN meets CD in N , we have
CM = OMOD =
CN =ONOE=
ak. 2 a l
2^1 KI
= c.
where c l and c 2 are constants dependent upon the position of C.
A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF COORDINATES 167
Consider now a locus defined by the condition
CM
CN
= const.
This locus is obviously a straight line through (7, and its equation
is of the form
where a is a constant.
Conversely, any equation of the form (1) in which a is not zero
a k 8 k
or infinity, and ^T^ T^^iT re P resen ts an ordinary straight
#1 #1 Pi #3
line. For (# 2 : o^, fi z :/3^) fixes a point (7, and the equation is equiva
, CM T , a, & 2 /3, k.
lent to  7= const. If a is zero, or infinity, or = ^ or 2 =  1 ,
the equation is factorable and represents two special lines, one at
least of which is at infinity.
Again, consider the locus of P defined by the equation
CM . CN = const.
This locus is an equilateral hyperbola with two special lines as
asymptotes. We shall call it a special hyperbola. Its equation is
Conversely, any equation of the form (2) in which a is not zero
or infinity, and ^y^> # ^TT represents a special hyperbola.
^1 *1 Pi ^3
For ( 2 : 1? ^i^) fixes a point (7, and the equation is equivalent
a. k 8k
to Clf (7.2V" = const. If a is zero, or infinity, or = or ^ = ,
! ^ /S, & 3
equation (2) can be factored and represents two special lines.
It is to be noticed that equation (1) is satisfied by the coordinates
of the double point at infinity and that equation (2) is not.
72. The bilinear equation. Equations (1) and (2) of 71 are of
the form
+ BxjJt + Cx^+ Dx 2 y 2 =0, (1)
which is a bilinear equation in x l : x z and y l : / 2 .
We shall now assume equation (1) and examine it in order to see
if it is always of one of the types of 71.
168 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In the first place it is easy to show that the necessary and suffi
cient condition that (1) should factor into the form
is that ADBC=Q. Furthermore, the necessary and sufficient
condition that (1) should be satisfied by the coordinates of the
double point at infinity is
Akfa+BkJc 4t + CkJc 3 +Dk 2 Jc 4 = 0.
We shall denote the lefthand member of this equation by K and
make four cases according to the vanishing or nonvanishing of the
two quantities K and AD EC.
CASE I. ADBC=Q,K= 0. The equation cannot be factored
and the locus does not pass through the double point at infinity.
Therefore it cannot be of the type (1), 71. It will be of the
form (2), 71, however, if we can find a^ # 2 , # 1? /3 2 , and a to satisfy
the equations a& ak&= pA,
 (*&+ akjc 8 = P B,
 afi^+ akfa= pC,
afii dkjcfs pD.
These equations can be solved by taking
a = BCAD.
Hence equation (1) represents a special hyperbola.
CASE II. AD BC 3=0,K=Q. The equation cannot be factored
and the locus passes through the double point at infinity. We shall
compare the equation with (1), 71. The locus of the equation
under consideration intersects OX in the point (JDi B, 0:1),
which we will take as (a^ : # 2 , /3 1 : /3 2 ). Using these values in (1),
71, and comparing with (1) of this section, we have
Bk 4 ak 2 = pA,
A SPECIAL SYSTEM OF COORDINATES 169
. . K ^
whence a *   > these values agreeing, since
~ k * *i
K= Q. Since AD BC= 0, a cannot be zero.
Therefore the locus represents an ordinary straight line.
CASE III. ADBC=Q, K^O. The equation is factorable
into the equations of two special lines, one of each family. Neither
line can be at infinity since the locus does not pass through the
double point at infinity.
CASE IV. AD  BC= 0, K= 0. The equation is factorable into
the equations of two special lines, one of each family. At least one
of these lines must be at infinity since the locus passes through the
double point at infinity.
If we call a singular bilinear locus one defined by the equation (1)
when ADI>C=Q, and a nonsingular bilinear locus one defined
by (1) when ADBC^Q, we have the following result:
A nonsingular bilinear locus is a special hyperbola or an ordinary
straight line according as it does not or does pass through the double
point at infinity.
A singular bilinear locus consists of two special lines, one of each
family, where one or both of the lines may be a line at infinity.
73. The bilinear transformation. Consider the transformation
This defines a onetoone relation between the points (x^.x^ y^y^)
and the points (x{ . x(, y[: y ^). The following properties are evident :
I. Any special line is transformed into a special line of the same
family and any singular bilinear locus into a singular bilinear locus.
II. The lines at infinity may remain fixed or be transformed
into any two special lines.
III. The point at infinity may be fixed or be transformed into
any other point either at infinity or in the finite part of the plane.
IV. If the double point at infinity is fixed, ordinary straight
lines are transformed into ordinary straight lines and special
hyperbolas into special hyperbolas.
170 TWODIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
V. If the double point at infinity is transformed into a finite
point A and the finite point B is transformed into the double point
at infinity, any ordinary line is transformed into a special hyperbola
through A, and any special hyperbola through B is transformed into
an ordinary straight line. The line AB is transformed into itself.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the cross ratio of the four points in which a special
line meets four special lines of the other family is unaltered by the
bilinear transformation.
2. Study the transformation px[=y lt px!i = y. 2 , <ry[=x 1} ai/ 2 = x 2)
and also the transformation obtained as the product of this and the
bilinear transformation of the text.
3. Given in space the hyperboloid x*+ if z 2 1 and \ and //. defined
by the equations
x z 1 + y x z 1 y
X .= = > u, = = ^~
1 y x + z 1 + y x + z
Note that (X, /t) are coordinates of a point on the hyperboloid and
name the essential features of a geometry on the hyperboloid which
is dualistic to the geometry in the plane discussed in this chapter.
Generalize by replacing the hyperboloid by any quadric surface.
REFERENCES
For the benefit of students who may wish to read more on the subjects
treated in the foregoing text the following references are given. No attempt
has been made to make the list complete or to include journal articles,
and preference has been given to books which are easily accessible.
General treatises :
DARBOUX, Principes de ge ome trie analytique. GauthierVillars.
KLEIN, Hohere Geometric. Lithographed Lectures. Gottingen.
SALMON, Conic Sections. Longmans, Green & Co.
SCOTT, Modern Analytical Geometry. The Macmillan Company.
Projective geometry :
EMCH, Introduction to Projective Geometry and its Applications. John Wylie &
Sons, Inc.
MILNE, Cross Ratio Geometry. Cambridge University Press.
VEBLEN and YOUNG, Projective Geometry, Vol. I. Ginn and Company.
Projective measurement and non Euclidean geometry :
CARSLAW, NonEuclidean Geometry and Trigonometry. Longmans, Green Co.
COOLIDGE, NonEuclidean Geometry. Clarendon Press.
MANNING, NonEuclidean Geometry. Ginn and Company.
WOODS, "NonEuclidean Geometry" (in Young s Monographs on Modern
Mathematics). Longmans, Green & Co.
PART III. THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
CHAPTER XI
CIRCLE COORDINATES
74. Elementary circle coordinates. As the first example of a
geometric element determined by three coordinates, thus leading to
a threedimensional geometry, we will take the circle. If we con
sider a real proper circle with the radius r and with its center at
the point (A, &) in Cartesian coordinates, we might take the three
quantities (A, &, r) as the coordinates of the circle. It is more
general, however, to take the Cartesian equation
a x (x z + y*) + a^x + a z y + a^ = (1)
as the definition of the circle and to take the ratios a l : a 2 : a^ : a^ as
its coordinates. The circle may then be of any of the types specified
in 59. If it is a real proper circle the coordinates are essentially
the same as (A, &, r).
We may also take the equation in tetracyclical coordinates x {1
and take the ratios u^ : u 2 : u s : u^ as the coordinates of the circle. If
the point coordinates x i are the special coordinates of 57, the circle
coordinates u t obtained from equation (2) are the same as the
coordinates a. obtained from equation (1), but in general no sim
plification is introduced by the use of the special coordinates. In
fact, it is in many cases simpler to assume that the point coordinates
x i in equation (2) are orthogonal.
Unless it is otherwise explicitly stated we shall assume in the
following that x i are orthogonal tetracyclical point coordinates
connected by the relation :
u(x) = xf+ xl+ xl + xl= 0. (3)
Then the condition that equation (2) shall represent a special
circleis ,() = + +, += 0. (4)
171
172 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
As shown in 63 the equation of a special circle with the center
& ls o> Q/, x) = y^ 4 y& 4 yfr 4 ^ =0, (5)
where, of course, y i satisfy the fundamental relation (3).
Hence, if (2) is a special circle the coefficients u i are exactly the
coordinates of its center. Because of the importance of this result
we repeat it in a theorem :
/. If x { are orthogonal tetracyclical point coordinates and u { are circle
coordinates based upon them, then the circle coordinates of a special
circle are the point coordinates of the center of the circle.
Two circles with the coordinates v i and w i are orthogonal when
rj (y, w) = v l w 1 + v 2 w z 4 v 3 w s 4 v^w 4 =0. (6)
From this we may deduce the following theorems :
//. A linear equation
a^ 4 a 2 u 2 4 aji 9 4 4 w 4 = (7)
in circle coordinates defines a linear circle complex which is composed
of all circles orthogonal to a base circle a l : # 2 : a g : 4 .
For equation (7) is simply equation (6) with v i replaced by the
constants a { and with w i replaced by the variables u { .
The complex contains special circles whose centers are the points
of the base circle.
When the base circle is a. special circle the complex is called a
special complex. It consists of all circles through the center of the
base circle, and the condition for it is
<h<4 3 2 +<=0.
If a i are the coordinates of the real point at infinity, equation (7)
defines a special complex consisting of all the straight lines of
the plane.
///. If two circles belong to a linear complex, all circles of the pencil
defined by the two belong to the complex.
The proof of this theorem is left to the student.
IV. Two simultaneous linear equations
define a linear congruence, which consists of a pencil of circles.
CIECLE COORDINATES 173
To prove this, note that the congruence consists of all circles
which belong to the two complexes Va t .w.= and ^b i u i = 0. These
circles are also common to all complexes of the pencil of complexes
Oi+Xi,.) ,= (), (8)
and is defined by any two complexes of this pencil. But the pencil
(8) contains two special complexes given by the values of \ which
satisfy the equation
O 1 +x& 1 ) 2 +O 2 +xi s ) 2 +O 3 + A.* 3 ) 2 +O 4 +xJ 4 ) 2 = o. (9)
If the bases of the two special complexes are distinct, the con
gruence consists of all circles through two points and is therefore
a pencil of circles.
If the bases of the two special complexes coincide, equation
(9) has equal roots. We may without loss of generality assume
^a f Uf= to be the special complex of the pencil. Then 2aJ = 0,
and since (9) has equal roots 2^A = ^ > that ^ s > the P om t a i is on
the circle b { . Hence the congruence consists of all circles which
pass through a fixed point on a circle and are orthogonal to that
circle. They accordingly form a pencil of tangent circles.
75. The quadratic circle complex. The equation
2)oWb= .= a ik ) (1)
defines a quadratic circle complex.
Let v { and w i be any two circles. Then pu t = v i f \w. is any circle
of the pencil defined by v. and w i9 and belongs to the complex (1)
when X satisfies the equation
Hence we have the following theorem :
/. The quadratic complex contains two distinct or coincident circles
from any pencil of circles unless all circles of the pencil belong to the
complex.
Now let v { be a circle of the complex (1). Then one root of (2)
is zero, and two roots will be zero when
V= 0. (3)
174 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Equation (3) will be satisfied by all values of w i when v i satis
fies the equations A
and any v i which satisfy these equations will also satisfy (1) and
hence be the coordinates of a circle of the complex. Therefore
//. Any circle whose coordinates v i satisfy equations (4) will be a
circle of the complex such that any pencil of circles which contains v i
and does not lie entirely on the complex will have only v i in common
with the complex.
Such a circle is called a double circle of the complex. A double
circle does not always exist in a given complex, however, for the
necessary and sufficient condition that equations (4) should have
a solution is that the determinant of the coefficients should vanish.
A complex that contains a double circle is called a singular complex.
If in equation(2) v { is the double circle of a singular complex and
w t any other circle of the complex, the equation is identically satis
fied. Hence we have the following theorem :
III. In a singular complex the pencil of circles defined by the double
circle and any other pencil of the complex lies entirely in the complex.
We shall now proceed to find the locus of the centers of the
special circles of the quadratic complex. The special circles have
coordinates u { which satisfy simultaneously equation (1) and also
the equation for a special circle
<+<+<+<=0. (5)
The circle coordinates are also (theorem I, 74) the point coor
dinates of the centers of the special circles. These coordinates
define a onedimensional extent. Therefore the locus of the centers
of the special circles of the complex is a curve, which is called a
cyclic or a bicircular curve (see Ex. 9, 68).
The coordinates u { which satisfy simultaneously (1) and (5) will
also satisfy the equation
<+<+<)= (6)
CIRCLE COORDINATES 175
for all values of X, and any equation of the form (6) may replace
(1) in the definition of the locus sought. But among the com
plexes defined by (6) there are in general four singular complexes
corresponding to the values of X defined by the equation
Hence we have the following theorem :
IV. The cyclic is in general the locus of the centers of the special
circles of any one of four singular complexes.
Take C\ any one of these singular complexes, and consider
the straight lines belonging to the complex C. Their coordinates
satisfy a linear equation
W+VVt*A+W*
where c { are the coordinates of the real point at infinity. Conse
quently the straight lines form a onedimensional extent, and by
theorem I any pencil of straight lines contains two of the lines of
this extent. Consequently the lines of the complex C envelop a
conic, which we shall call F.
Now let D be the double circle of (7, and T any straight line of
C; that is, any tangent line to F. The pencil defined by D and T
belongs entirely to (7, and consequently the two centers of the two
point circles of this pencil are points of the cyclic. Furthermore,
all points of the cyclic can be obtained in this way, since a point
of the cyclic and the circle D will determine a pencil of circles
belonging to C and containing a line T. Hence we may say :
V. A cyclic can be defined (and in general in four ways) as the
locus of the centers of the point circles of the pencils of circles defined
by a fixed circle D and the tangent lines to a fixed conic F.
Take Jj* and P^ two points on the conic F, and with P^ and P^ as
centers construct two circles c and c orthogonal to D. The circles
c and c determine a pencil of circles orthogonal to D and to the
chord Pf r Hence, by theorem V, 62, if A and A are the points
of intersection of c and c , A and A 1 are the centers of the point
circles of the pencil of circles defined by D and the chord
176 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Now let ^ approach ^ as a limit. The points A and A approach
M and M respectively, two points on the envelope of the circles c.
At the same time A and A approach as limits the centers of the
point circles in the pencil of circles denned by D and the tangent
to the conic F. Hence we have the following theorem :
VI. A cyclic can be generated as the envelope of a family of circles
whose centers are on a given conic T and which are orthogonal to a given
circle D. Each circle of the family is doubly tangent to the cyclic.
This generation of the cyclic can in general be made in four
ways, since, as we have seen, the cyclic can be obtained from the
point circles of four singular complexes. The cyclic curves have
been exhaustively studied both with the use of Cartesian coordi
nates and with the use of tetracyclical coordinates, but a further
discussion of their properties would require too much space for
this book.
EXERCISES
1. Given the equation a^u^ = 0, consider the polar equation
a ik v { u k = 0. This assigns to any circle a definite linear complex.
Discuss this on the analogy of polar lines with respect to a curve
of second order in the plane, defining tangent complexes, selfpolar
systems of complexes, and the reduction of the original equation to a
standard form.
2. Prove that if a quadratic complex contains more than one double
circle it contains at least a pencil of double circles and degenerates
into two linear complexes or a single linear complex taken double. In
the former case show that each circle of the pencil common to the two
complexes is a double circle of the quadratic complex.
3. If a quadratic complex degenerates into two linear complexes,
show that the cyclic defined by it degenerates into two circles.
4. Show that any circle in a nonsingular quadratic complex belongs
to two pencils which lie entirely in the complex. Hence show that any
quadratic complex is made up of two families of pencils such that any
circle of the complex belongs to one of each of the families. Show that
two pencils of the same families never have a circle in common and
that any pencil of one family contains one circle of each pencil of the
other family.
5. Show that the following curves are special cases of cyclics : the
ovals of Descartes, the ovals of Cassini, the cissoid, the lemniscate,
the inverse and the pedal curves of conies.
CIRCLE COORDINATES 177
76. Higher circle coordinates. In addition to the four quantities
u i> u & U 3*> u * use( i m t ne foregoing sections, we shall now introduce
a fifth quantity w g , defined by the relation
u * + u l + u l + ul + ul = 0. (1)
If the point coordinates x i used in defining the elementary circle
coordinates u { were not orthogonal, we should define u & by the
equation > x 2 A
7/(?/)+<=0,
of which (1) is a special case. We may also, if we wish, replace
the five quantities u { by five independent linear combinations of
them, by virtue of which equation (1) would be transformed into
a more general quadratic equation, so that we may say the higher
circle coordinates in their most general form consist of the ratios of
Jive variables connected by a fundamental quadratic relation
We shall continue to use the orthogonal form for simplicity of
treatment.
As shown in 59 the vanishing of the coordinate u 5 is the neces
sary and sufficient condition that the circle should be special. In
this case the circle is completely determined by the four coordi
nates u^ u z , te a , u 4 . So, in general, the center and the radius of a
circle are fully determined by means of the first four coordinates,
u i> u i"> u tf u t> that is, the circle is completely determined in the
elementary sense. The absolute value of u 5 is then determined, but
its sign is not fixed.
It is necessary, then, to distinguish between two circles which are
alike in the elementary sense but differ in the sign of the coordi
nate u b . This may be done by noting that any nonspecial circle,
whether a proper circle or a straight line, divides the plane into two
portions, and by considering a circle with a fixed u b as the boundary
of one of these portions and the circle with a coordinate u of
opposite sign as the boundary of the other portion. The same result
may be obtained by considering the circle described in opposite
directions, with the agreement, perhaps, that the circle shall be
considered as bounding that portion of the plane which lies on the
left hand in describing the circle.
178 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If x { are the orthogonal coordinates described in detail in 64,
that is, if we introduce Cartesian coordinates so that
it is easy to compute that the radius of the circle u { is equal to
Hence to fix a sign of U B is equivalent to fixing the sign
of the radius. We may agree that the sign of the radius is to be
considered positive when the center of the circle lies in the area
bounded by the circle and that the sign of the radius is to be
taken as negative when the center lies in the part of the plane not
bounded by the circle.
The angle between two circles u { and v t . is now defined without
ambiguity by the formula
 u. v + u.v + uv + u.v
cos 9 =    **
"&
or w^ 4 u z v z 4 u s v s + u^v^ + u 5 v 5 cos 6 0. (2)
To change the sign of u b but not of v & is to change the angle
into its supplementary angle.
If the circles u { and v. are real and the coordinates are those of
64, it is not difficult to see that the angle 6 is the angle between
the two normals drawn each into the region of the plane which
each circle bounds.
If either of the two circles is special, 6 is either infinite or in
determinant. In particular, if v i is a special circle and u { is not,
we have cos = oo when the center of v i does not lie on u^ and
cos =  when the center of v i lies on w.. Hence we may say :
A special circle makes any angle with a circle on which its center lies.
Two circles are orthogonal when 6 = (2 & + !) The necessary
and sufficient condition for this is
u^ + u 2 v 2 + u s v 3 + uji^ =0. (3)
Two circles are tangent when 6 = 0. The necessary and sufficient
condition for this is
It is to be noted that two circles are not defined as tangent when
6 = TT. If the circles are real proper circles they are tangent only
CIRCLE COORDINATES 179
when they are tangent in the elementary sense and the interior of
one lies in the interior of the other.
Consider the equation
in the higher circle coordinates. This is equivalent to equation (2)
if we place
a i = V *= v a z= V B a *= v s 5 =v 5 cos<9,
together with the condition
tf+t^+^+^+^O.
These equations are just sufficient to determine v i and cos 6. Hence
the higher circle complex consists of circles cutting a fixed circle under
a fixed angle.
If a & = the higher circle complex becomes the elementary com
plex consisting of circles orthogonal to a base circle.
The circle complex (5) is called a special complex when
<4X+tf 3 2 +<+<=0.
In that case 0=^0 and the equation may be identified with (4).
Hence a special complex in the higher coordinates consists of circles
tangent to a fixed circle.
Two simultaneous equations
a^+ a 2 u 2 + 3 w 3 + a^u 4 + a & u 6 = 0,
l l U l + b 2 U 2 + b S U 3 + 6 4 W 4 + ^5 =
define a higher circle congruence. Circles which satisfy these two
equations also satisfy any equation of the form
but among the complexes defined by this last equation are two
special complexes. Hence a higher circle congruence consists of all
circles tangent to two fixed circles.
EXERCISES
1. What is the configuration of the higher circle congruence if the
two special complexes coincide ?
2. Show that if x { are orthogonal tetracyclical coordinates, the circle
coordinates u lt u^ u s , u 4 are proportional to the cosines of the angles
which the circle u f makes with the coordinate circles.
3. Describe the complexes defined by each of the equations u { = 0.
CHAPTER XII
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES
77. Cartesian point coordinates. Let OX, OF, OZ (Fig. 51) be
three axes of coordinates, which we take for convenience as mutu
ally orthogonal. Then, if P is any point in space, and PL, PM,
PN are the perpendiculars to the three
planes determined by the axes, the
lengths of these perpendiculars with a
proper convention as to signs are the
rectangular Cartesian coordinates of P.
That is, we place
N
= LP, z =
(1)
FIG. 51
where MP, LP, and NP are positive if
measured in the directions OX, F, and
OZ respectively, and negative if measured in the opposite directions.
The coordinates may be made homogeneous by placing
MP = ,
t
(2)
and taking the ratios xiy.z.t as the coordinates of P.
To any point P corresponds then a real set of ratios, and to any
set of real ratios in which t is not zero corresponds a real point P.
The relation between point and coordinates is then made one to
one by the following conventions : (1) the ratios 0:0:0:0 are
not allowable ; (2) complex values of the ratios define an imag
inary point; (3) ratios in which = but x\y\z are determinate
define a point at infinity. In fact, as t approaches zero P recedes
indefinitely from 0.
If a point is not at infinity we may, if we choose, place = 1
in (2), thus reducing the homogeneous coordinates to the non
homogeneous ones. Again, nonhomogeneous coordinates are easily
made homogeneous by dividing by t. Accordingly we shall use
180
POINT AND PLANE COOKDINATES 181
the two kinds side by side, passing from one to the other as
convenience dictates.
A more general system of Cartesian coordinates may be defined
by dropping the assumption that the axes OX, OY, OZ (Fig. 51)
are mutually orthogonal, and drawing the lines HP, LP, NP
parallel to the axes. The coordinates are then called oblique. They
may be made homogeneous by the same device as that used in the
case of rectangular coordinates.
Throughout this book the axes will be assumed as rectangular
unless the contrary is explicitly stated.
78. Distance. Let J^ and P^ be two real points with the coordi
nates (Xf y^ z^) and (z , y^ 2 2 ) respectively, and let a rectangular
parallelepiped be constructed on P^ as a diagonal, with its edges
parallel to the coordinate axes. Then, if PJi, RS, and SP Z are three
consecutive edges of the parallelepiped, it is evident that
P l R = x 2 x 1 , SS = y t y p WJ= *,*,. (1)
Hence the distance P^ is given by the equation
yO +c*,*,) . (2)
of, written in homogeneous coordinates,
+ OA  *
This formula has been proved for real points only. It is now
taken as the definition of the distance between all points of what
ever nature. From the definition we obtain at once the following
propositions :
I. The distance between two points neither of which is at infinity is
finite.
II. TJie distance between a point at infinity and a point not at infinity
is infinite, unless the point at infinity has coordinates which satisfy
the conditions
2 2 A A
+2 = 0, = 0. (4)
In the latter case the distance between the point at infinity and any
point not at infinity is indeterminate.
The points whose coordinates satisfy equations (4) form a one
dimensional extent called the circle at infinity. The reason for the
use of the word "circle" will appear later.
182 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If in equation (2) we replace the coordinates of P l by those of a
fixed point C (X Q , y^ z ) and the coordinates of P l by those of a
variable point P (#, ?/, z), while keeping CP equal to a constant r,
we obtain
(a . _ x
which defines the locus of a point at a constant distance from a
fixed point. This locus is by definition a sphere.
Equation (5) may be written in the form
= 0, (6)
where
VVVijr:*,*,^ ^+^4^. (7)
If the center C and the radius r are finite, the coefficient A is not
zero. Conversely, any equation of the form (6) in which A is not
zero defines a sphere, the radius and the center of which are given
by (7). More generally it is possible to define a sphere as the
locus of any equation of the form (6). In case A= the center is
at infinity, the radius is infinite or indeterminate, and the equa
tion splits into the two equations t = and Bx + Cy +Dz + Et = 0.
These cases of the sphere will be discussed in detail in 118. In the
present section we shall consider only the case in which A= and
the sphere conforms more nearly to the elementary definition, and
its equation may then be put in the form (5).
The radius, however, may be real, imaginary, or zero. If the
radius is zero, the equation takes the form
(?*.) + (yy t y+(?tf=0, (8)
and the sphere is called a null sphere or a point sphere.
It is obvious that if (X Q , y Q , ) is a real point, equation (8) is
satisfied by the coordinates of no other real point. There exist,
however, a doubly infinite set of imaginary points which satisfy
equation (8).
79. The straight line. A straight line is by definition the one
dimensional extent of points whose coordinates satisfy equations
of the form pz = Xl +\x^
PV = &!+*!/* (1)
/>Z = J2 t + \Z 2 ,
pt = ^ + X 2 ,
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 183
where (^ : y l : z 1 : t^ and (x 2 : y z : z z : Q are the coordinates of two
fixed points and X is a variable parameter.
From the definition we may draw the following conclusions :
/. Any two distinct points determine a straight line, and any two
distinct points on the line may be used to determine it.
The first part of this theorem is obvious. To prove the second
part let P^ be a point on the line (1) determined by X = \ l and let
P 2 be another point on the line determined by X = X 2 . Let a be
a quantity defined by the relation ^ 2 = X. Then the first
equation in (1) may be written
px = Xl
or TZ = X I
and similar equations can be found for y, z, and t. But these are
the equations of a straight line defined by ^ and ZJ, which is
thus shown to be identical to that defined by (x^i y^z^: t^) and
Cv# 2 : vO
//. A straight line contains a single point at infinity unless it lies
entirely at infinity.
If, in equations (1), ^=0 and t 2 = 0, then t = f or all values of X.
Otherwise t = only when X = > which determines on the line
^2
the single point at infinity (xfa x&i yf^ yfo zf z  z^i 0). This
proves the theorem. Straight lines which lie at infinity are some
times called improper straight lines; other lines are called proper
straight lines.
III. If two points of a straight line are real, the line contains an
infinity of real points.
This follows from the fact that if the two real points are used to
determine the equations (1), any real value of X gives a real point
on the line. Such lines are called real lines, although it should not
be forgotten that they contain an infinity of imaginary points also.
If a real line is also a proper line we may put t^ t <2 , and t equal
to unity in equations (1) and write the equations of the line in
the form
x ~ x
184 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
From this and equations (1), 78, it is not difficult to show
that the real points of a real proper line form a straight line in the
elementary sense.
IV. An imaginary straight line may contain one real point or no
real point.
To prove this it is only necessary to give an example of each
kind. The line defined by the two points (1:1:1:1) and (1:0: i:l)
contains the first point and no other real point, while the line
defined by (\:i:i: 1) and (1:0:^:1) contains no real point.
These statements may be verified by using the given points in
equations (1) and examining the values of X necessary to give a
real point on the line.
An imaginary line which contains no real point may be called
completely imaginary, one with a single real point incompletely
imaginary.
V. If the distance between two points on a straight line is zero, the
distance between any other two points of the line is zero.
To prove this we may use the coordinates of the points between
which the distance is zero for the fixed points in equation (1).
Then, if ^ and P z are two points determined by X = \ and \ = \
respectively, we may compute the distance P^P? by formula (3),
78. There results
A straight line with the above property is called a minimum line.
Such lines have already been met in the plane geometry. Concern
ing the minimum lines in space we have the following theorems:
VI. A minimum line meets the plane at infinity in the circle at
infinity, and, conversely, any line not at infinity which intersects the
circle at infinity is a minimum line.
From the proof of theorem II the necessary and sufficient con
dition that a line meet the circle at infinity is
(*A  *A>*+ frA yA> + OA .*,) = .
which is also the necessary and sufficient condition that the two
points (xjyjzjt^) and (x z y^zjt^) should be at a zero distance
apart. By theorem V the line is then a minimum line.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 185
VII. Through any point of space goes a cone of minimum lines
which is also a point sphere.
Any point in space may be joined to the points of the circle at
infinity. We have then a onedimensional extent of lines through
a common point, and such lines form a cone by definition. Also
if (X Q : y Q : Z Q : t Q ) is the fixed point and (x\y:z\ f) is any point on a
minimum line through it, the coordinates of (x : y : z : ) will satisfy
the equation
^ 2 ^2 A
 xf) 2 +O  y t) f h(^  z = 0, (3)
and, conversely, any point whose coordinates satisfy this equation
lies by theorem VI on a minimum line through (X Q : y Q : Z Q : Q ).
Equation (3) is, however, the equation of a point sphere in
homogeneous form. Hence the minimum cone is identical with
the point sphere.
80. The plane. A plane is defined as the twodimensional extent
of points whose coordinates satisfy an equation of the form
Ax + y+Cz + Dt = Q. (1)
From the definition we deduce the following propositions :
/. If two points lie on a plane, the straight line connecting them lies
entirely on the plane.
This follows immediately from the fact that if (xj y^.z^. ^) and
fe^VO satisf y (1) tnen (^+H : #i+ X #2 : 2i+ X V*i+ X Q
does also.
//. A plane is uniquely determined ~by any three points not on the
same straight line.
If (xjyjzjt^ 0*v y a : V *a) and (xjyjzjt^ are any three
points, the coefficients A, B, (7, and D may be so determined that
= 0,
= 0, (2)
< 8 = 0,
unless there exist relations of the form
that is, unless the three points taken lie on a straight line.
186 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
It follows from theorems I and II that any plane in the elemen
tary sense may be represented by an equation in the form (1).
The general definition of a plane extends the concept of the plane
in the usual way.
777. Points at infinity lie in a plane called the plane at infinity.
This is a result of the definition, since the equation of points at
infinity is t = 0.
On the plane x = the coordinates y:z:t are homogeneous
coordinates of the type of 18. Similarly, on the plane y = we
have the Cartesian coordinates xizit and on the plane z = the
Cartesian coordinates x:y:t. On the plane t = we may define
x:y:z as trilinear coordinates of the type in 22.
IV. If three points of a plane are real, the plane contains a doubly
infinite number of real points.
From equations (2) the values of A, B, C, and Z> are real if the
coordinates of the points involved are real. Then in equations (1)
real values may be assumed for two of the ratios xiy:z:t, and the
third is determined as real.
Such a plane is called a real plane, although it contains, of course,
an infinity of imaginary points.
V. Any two distinct planes intersect in a straight line, and any
straight line may be defined as the intersection of two planes.
Consider the two planes
Ap + By + Op + DJ = 0,
These equations are satisfied by an infinite number of values of
the coordinates. Let (xj yjzj ^) and (ay / 2 : z 2 : 2 ) be two such
values. Then the values (x t ^\se^:y 1 ^\y t :z l ^\f t :t 1 +\t^) also
satisfy the two equations so that the two planes have certainly a
line in common. They cannot have in common any point not on
this line if the two planes are distinct, since three points completely
determine a plane (theorem II).
Again, a plane (by theorem II) may be passed through two points
on a given line and a third point not on the line, and two such
planes will determine the line.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 187
VI. Any plane except the plane at infinity contains a single line at
infinity, and any two planes intersecting in the same line at infinity
are parallel.
The first part of this theorem is a corollary of theorem V. The
second part is a definition of parallel planes. The definition agrees
with the elementary definition since, by theorem V, parallel planes
in this sense have no finite point in common.
VII. An imaginary plane contains one and only one real straight line.
Since an imaginary plane has one or more of the coefficients in
its equation complex, we may write the equations as
* + S it = 0.
This can be satisfied by real values (x\y:z\i) when and only
when
that is, when (x: y.zit) lie on a real straight line (theorem V).
That the line is real follows from theorem III, 79, since the above
equations are evidently satisfied by two real points.
The real line on an imaginary plane may lie at infinity. In
that case the plane is said to be imaginary of higher order. If the
real line is not at infinity, the plane is said to be imaginary of
lower order.
VIII. Any plane intersects a sphere in a circle.
Consider the intersection of the plane
Ax + By + Cz + D = (3)
and the sphere
a(x* + y*+ z 2 ) + lx + cy + dz + et = Q. (4)
Any point on the intersection of these two surfaces also lies on
the intersection of (3) and
a(a* + y a + 3 2 ) + (6 + \A)x + (c + \B)y + (c? + \CT)z
+ (e + X>)*=0, (5)
where X is any multiplier. Equation (5) represents a sphere with
which will lie in the plane (3) when
bA + cB + dC
188 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The points of the intersection of (3) and (4) are therefore
shown to lie at a constant distance from a fixed point of the
plane, and hence the intersection satisfies the usual definition of
the circle.
The above discussion fails if the coefficients of the plane satisfy
the condition ^ 2 _j_# 2 _f_ c 2 = 0.
This happens for the plane at infinity and for other planes called
minimum planes. In these two cases the truth of theorem VIII is
maintained by taking it as the definition of a circle. This justifies
the expression "circle at infinity," which we have already used,
and shows that there is no other circle at infinity. The case of a
minimum plane needs further discussion.
IX. Any plane not a minimum plane intersects the circle at infinity
in two points, which are the circle points of that plane. A minimum
plane is tangent to the circle at infinity. Through any point in a plane
which is not a minimum plane go two minimum lines. Through any
point in a minimum plane goes only one minimum line.
The plane (3) intersects the plane at infinity in the line
Ax 4 By f Cz = 0, t = 0, and this line intersects the circle at infinity
in two points unless A 2 +B 2 + (7 2 = 0, when it is tangent to that circle.
In the latter case the plane is by definition a minimum plane.
It is easy to see that in a plane which is not a minimum plane
its intersections with the circle at infinity have all the properties of
the circle points discussed in 20 and that the metrical geometry
on such a plane is that of 45 and 46. The latter parts of the
theorem follow from theorem VI, 79.
The minimum planes are fundamentally different from other
planes in that a minimum plane contains only one circle point at
infinity. The geometry on a minimum plane presents, therefore,
many peculiarities, some of which will be mentioned in the next
section.
81. Direction and angle. We define the direction of a straight
line as the coordinates of the point in which it meets the plane at
infinity. This definition is justified by the facts that the lines
through a point are distinguished one from another by their direction
in accordance with theorem I, 79, and that a line can be drawn
through the point with any given direction by the same theorem.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 189
We shall denote the direction of a line by the ratios l:mfn.
Then we have, by theorem II, 79,
where (x^ : y l : z l : ^) and (# 2 : y z : z 2 : t^) are the coordinates of any
two points of the line. If neither of these points is at infinity, we
may write , r . 7 , _ 7 , . ~ _ ~
i . m . n x z x l . y z y^ . z z z^
which is in accordance with the more elementary definition of
direction.
From the definition we have the following consequences :
/. Two noncoincident lines with the same direction are parallel.
Such lines lie in the plane determined by their common point at
infinity and two distinct points one on each line (theorem II, 80),
and they can intersect at no point except the common point at
infinity. Hence they are parallel.
//. The necessary and sufficient condition that a line should be a
minimum line is that its direction should satisfy the condition
This follows from (3), 79.
In 46 we have defined the angle between two intersecting lines
j and l z by the equation
where m^ and w 2 are the two minimum lines through the inter
section of ^ and 1 2 and in their plane. We shall continue to use
this definition.
Now, if the lines I l9 Z , m^ and m 2 intersect the plane at infinity in
the points L^ L^ M^ and M 2 respectively, we have, by theorem I, 16,
From this we have the following theorem, in which the condition
that ? t and ? 2 should be intersecting lines may be dropped :
///. The angle between two lines is equal to the projective distance
between the points in which they intersect the plane at infinity, the
circle at infinity being taken as the fundamental conic and the constant l
0/(4), 47, being equal to 
190 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
"The cross ratio (L^L^ M^f^) is unity when and only when M^
and M 2 coincide or L^ and L 2 coincide, it being assumed that neither
L^ nor L 2 lies on the circle at infinity. In the former case the lines
Zj and Z 2 are parallel ; in the latter case they lie in the same minimum
plane. Hence follows the theorem :
IV. If two nonminimum lines are parallel or if they lie in the same
minimum plane, they make a zero angle with each other, and, con
versely, if two nonminimum lines make a zero angle with each other,
they are either parallel or lie in the same minimum plane.
Let us suppose that Z x and 1 2 are nonminimum and distinct and
that their directions are A^iBj C^ and A 2 :B 2 : C 2 respectively. Then,
as in (4), 49,
* + A a + c? ^ 2 2 + BI 4 ci
From this we obtain the following result:
V. Two nonminimum lines are perpendicular to each other when
their directions satisfy the condition
A l A t + B 1 B 1 + 0,07,= 0. (2)
Interpreted on the plane at infinity this means that the two
points (A^Bj (7 1 ) and (A 2 :B 2 i (7 2 ) lie each on the polar of the other.
VI. If Ax 4 By 4 Cz + Dt = is not a minimum plane, any line
with the direction A : B : C does not lie in the plane and is perpen
dicular to every line in the plane.
The plane mentioned meets the plane at infinity in the line
Ax 4 By 4 Cz = 0, and any line with the direction A: B: C meets
the plane at infinity in the point (A : B : (7), which is the pole of the
line Ax 4 By 4 Cz with respect to the circle at infinity. Hence
the point (A:B:C) will not lie in the line Ax+By f Cz = unless the
latter is tangent to the circle at infinity. This proves the theorem.
Any line with the direction A : B : C is said to be normal to the
plane Ax+By+Cz+Dt= 0, and this designation is used sometimes
even for minimum planes. The above discussion, however, estab
lishes the following theorem:
VII. The normals to a minimum plane lie in the plane and are the
minimum lines in the plane.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 191
By (1) a line with the direction l:m:n makes with the axes of
coordinates the angles a, /8, 7, where
/ n m *>
png n. = > COSp= =1 COS 7 =
These quantities are called the direction cosines of the line.
With their use equations (2) of 79 may be put in the form
x = x l \r cos a,
z = z 1 +r cos 7,
where it is easy to show that r is the distance of the variable point
(x, y, z) from the fixed point (x^ y v , z^). It is obvious that these
equations do not hold for a minimum line.
EXERCISES
1. Show that through any imaginary point in space there goes a
pencil of real planes having a real line as axis.
2. Show that the equation of any imaginary plane of lower order
may be written ax f by f cz f dt = 0, where a, b, and c are real and d
is complex.
3. Show that any imaginary straight line either lies in one real
plane and contains one real point, or lies in no real plane and contains
no real point. The last kind of lines is called completely imaginary
and the former kind incompletely imaginary.
4. Show that the necessary and sufficient condition that two points
should determine an incompletely imaginary straight line is that the
two points lie in the same plane with their conjugate imaginary points,
but not on the same straight line.
5. Show that two conjugate imaginary points determine a real
straight line and that if an imaginary point lies on a real straight line
its conjugate imaginary point does also.
6. Show that a minimum line makes an infinite angle with any
other line not in the same minimum plane with it and makes an inde
terminate angle with any line in the same minimum plane with it.
7. If (2) is taken as the definition of perpendicular lines, show that
a minimum line is perpendicular to itself and that a line in a minimum
plane is perpendicular to every minimum line in the plane.
192 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
*. If the angle between two planes is the angle between their
normals, show that two nonminimum planes make a zero angle when
they are parallel or intersect in a minimum line.
9. Show that any minimum plane makes an infinite angle with any
/plane not intersecting it in a minimum line and makes an indeterminate
angle with any plane intersecting it in a minimum line.
10. Show that the coordinates of a point on the circle at infinity
can be written x : y : z = 1 s 2 : i (1 + s 2 ) : 2 s, where s is an arbitrary
parameter. Hence show that the equations of a minimum line may be
written . /.. ON

where s is fixed for the line and r is variable.
11. Show that the equations
x= C(l
where F(s) is an arbitrary function, represent a minimum curve; that
is, a curve such that the length between any two points is zero and
the tangent line at any point is a minimum line.
12. Show that a minimum plane through the center of a sphere
intersects the latter in two minimum lines intersecting at infinity.
13. If a line is defined by the two equations
Ap + By + Cp + Df = 0,
A 2 x f B$ 4 Cfi 4 Dcf = 0,
show that its direction is B^C^BjO^iC^A.^ C^A^.Af^ A 2 B r
14. Show by reference to the plane at infinity that the necessary
and sufficient condition that the plane Ax + By + Cz + Dt should
be parallel to a line with direction I : m : n is A I ( Bm + Cn = 0.
15. Show that the equation of a plane through the point (x^. y^ z^ ^)
and parallel to the two lines with the directions l^\ m^\ n^ and 1 2 : m 2 : n^
respectively, is
y z t
y\ ^i ^i
m l n l
m n n n
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES j
82. Quadriplanar point coordinates. Let us assume four planes of
reference ABC, ABD, ADC, and BCD (Fig. 52), not intersecting in
a point, and four arbitrary constants k^ Jc 2 , k s , k 4 . Let p^ p 2 , p s , p^
be the lengths of the perpendiculars from any point P to the four
planes in the order named, the sign of each perpendicular being
positive or negative according as P lies on one or the other (arbi
trarily chosen) side of the corresponding plane. Then the ratios
are the coordinates of the point P.
It is evident that if P is given as a real point its coordinates are
uniquely determined. Conversely, let a set of real ratios x^ixj x & : x^
be given, no one of which is zero. The
ratio x 1 : # 4 is one of the coordinates of
any point in a definite plane through
BC, and the ratio x 2 : # 4 is one of the
coordinates of any point on a definite
plane through BD. The two ratios are
part of the coordinates of any point on a
definite line through B and of no point
not on this line. Call this line I. The
ratio x z : x^ is one of the coordinates of FIG 52
any point on a definite plane through
CD. Call this plane m. If the plane m and the line I meet in a
point P, the ratios x 1 : x 2 : x s : x^ have fixed a definite point. If the
line I and the plane m do not intersect, we shall say that the ratios
define a point at infinity.
Complex values of the ratios define imaginary points, and the
ratios 0:0:0:0 are excluded.
If one of the coordinates is zero, the other three are trilinear
coordinates on one of the planes of reference. For example, if x l =
the ratios x 2 : x^: x^ are trilinear coordinates in the plane ABC, since
the distance of a point in the plane ABC from the line AC is equal
to its distance from the plane ACD multiplied by the cosecant of
the angle between the planes ABC and ABD, and, similarly, for the
distances from AB and BC.
Hence all values of the ratios x l : x 2 : x 8 : # 4 , except the unallow
able ratios 0:0:0:0, determine a unique point.
194 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Referring to the figure, we note that x t = on the plane ABC\
x z = on the plane ABD; x a = on the plane ADC; and x^=
on the plane DEC.
The point A has the coordinates 0:0:0:1, the point B the
coordinates 0:0:1:0, the point C the coordinates 0:1:0:0, the
point D the coordinates 1:0:0:0. The ratios k 1 : Jc 2 : Jc B : & 4 are
determined by the position of the point /, for which the coordinates
are 1:1:1:1, and this point can be taken at pleasure.
Quadriplanar coordinates include Cartesian coordinates as a spe
cial or limiting case in which the plane x^= is taken as the plane
at infinity. For if the plane BCD recedes indefinitely from A, and
the point P is not in BCD, the perpendicular p^ becomes infinite in
length, but & 4 can be made to approach zero at the same time and
in such a manner that Iim&j0 4 = l. Finally, if the planes ABC,
ABD, and ACD are mutually orthogonal and ^ l= =^ 2 =^ g = l, the
coordinates are rectangular Cartesian coordinates.
If the planes ABC, ABD, and ACD are not mutually orthogonal,
we may place & x = esc a^, where a 1 is the angle between AB and the
plane ACD, and take similar values for Jc 2 and Jc s . We then have
oblique Cartesian coordinates.
In using quadriplanar coordinates it is not convenient or neces
sary to specify the coordinates of a point at infinity. In fact, such
points are not to be considered as essentially different from other
points. Distance and all metrical properties of figures are not
conveniently expressed in terms of quadriplanar coordinates and
should be handled by Cartesian coordinates. We may, however,
pass from the general quadriplanar coordinates to Cartesian coordi
nates by simply interpreting one of the coordinate planes as the
plane at infinity.
83. Straight line and plane. We shall prove the following theorems :
/. If y^ : ?/ 2 : y z : y^ and z l : z 2 : Z Q : z^ are two fixed points, the coordi
nates of any point on the straight line joining them are
and any point with these coordinates lies on that line.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 195
This is the definition of a straight line for imaginary points. If,
however, the points y i and z i are real, the points given by real
values of X are real points which lie on a real straight line in the
elementary sense. This is easily verified by the student in using
a construction and argument similar to that used in 23 for the
straight line in the plane.
II. Any homogeneous linear equation of the form
represents a plane.
This is the definition of a plane. If y and z i are any two points
satisfying the equation of a plane, the coordinates of any point on
the line joining y. and z. also satisfy the equation ; that is, the line
which joins any two points of a plane lies entirely in the plane.
Hence, if the plane contains real points it coincides with a plane
in the elementary sense.
///. Three points not in the same straight line determine one and
only one plane.
The proof is as in 80. If y^ z { , t { are the three points, the
equation of the plane is
y,
= 0. (3)
IV. If y { , z i9 and t t are any three points not on the same straight
line, the coordinates of any point on the plane through them may be
written
and any point with these coordinates lies in the plane.
This follows immediately from the fact that the elimination of
p, X, and IJL from equations (4) gives equation (3), and, conversely,
from (3) the existence of (4) may be deduced.
196
THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
V. Any two distinct planes intersect in a straight line.
The proof is the same as that of theorem V, 80. A line can
therefore be denned by two simultaneous equations of the form
VI. If ^jd^i and *&&= are the equations of any two
planes, then
is, for any value of \, the equation of a plane through the line of in
tersection of the first two planes. As \ takes all values, all planes of
the pencil may be obtained.
VII. Any three planes not belonging to the same pencil intersect in
a point.
To prove this consider the three equations
These have the unique solution
unless the determinants involved are all zero. But in the latter
case there must exist multipliers X, /i, p such that
and hence the three planes belong to the same pencil by theorem VI.
VIII. If ^a { x.= 0, V&^= 0, V^f = ^ are ^e equations of three
planes not belonging to the same pencil, then
Z8 the equation of a plane through their point of intersection. As X
and JJL take all values, all planes through a common point can be found.
Such planes form a bundle.
The proof is obvious.
POINT AND PLANE COOKDINATES 197
84. Plane coordinates. The ratios of the coefficients in the equa
tion of the plane are sufficient to fix the plane and may be taken
as the coordinates of the plane. We shall deno te them by u { and say
that u^u z :u z : u^ are the plane coordinates of the plane whose point
equation is u ^ u ^ uf ^ Uf _ . (1)
No difference is made in this definition if the point coordinates
are Cartesian. Equation (1) is the condition that the plane u t and
the point x { should be in united position ; that is, that the plane
should pass through the point or that the point should lie on the
plane.
We have the following theorems, which are readily proved by
means of those of 83 :
/. If vj v^: v s : v^ and w^.w^.w^. w^ are the coordinates of two fixed
planes^ the coordinates of any plane through their line of intersection are
and any plane with these coordinates passes through this line.
The proof is obvious. Equations (2) are the equations of a
pencil of planes. They are also called the plane equations of a
straight line, the axis of the pencil. In this method of speaking
the straight line is thought of as carrying the planes of the
pencil in the same sense as that in which by the use of equa
tions (1), 83, the straight line is thought of as carrying the
points of a range.
//. Any homogeneous linear equation of the form
a , u , + a * u z + <y* 8 + a^ = (3)
is satisfied by the coordinates of all planes through a fixed point.
It follows from (1) that all planes whose coordinates satisfy (3)
are united with the point a l : a 2 : a & : a^. Equation (3) is therefore
called the plane equation of the point a l : a 2 : a g : 4 , in the same
sense in which equation (2), 83, is the point equation of the
plane a l : a 2 : a s : 4 .
198 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
///. Three planes not belonging to the same pencil determine a point.
This is, of course, the same theorem as VII, 83, but in plane
coordinates we prove it by noticing that three values of u { , say v { ,
w.j s i9 which satisfy (3) are sufficient to determine the coefficients
of (3) unless p8 t =\Vf\ fiw^ The equation of the point determined
by the three planes is, then,
1 U 2 U t
V 3 \
w 2 w s w 4
= 0. (4)
IV. If v i9 Wf, and s { are any three planes not "belonging to the same
pencil, the coordinates of any plane through their common point are
pU. V t + \Wi+ fJL8 f ,
and any plane with these coordinates passes through this point.
The proof is obvious. These planes form a bundle.
V. Two linear equations which are distinct are satisfied by the coordi
nates of planes which pass through a straight line.
This follows from the fact that each equation is satisfied by
planes which pass through a fixed point. Simultaneously, therefore,
the equations are satisfied by planes which have two points in com
mon, and these points are distinct if the equations are distinct. The
planes, therefore, have in common the line connecting the two points.
The equation of a straight line can therefore be written in
plane coordinates as the two simultaneous equations
Vl+ a 2 W 2+ V 3 + a 4 U 4= >
5 1 w 1 + b 2 u 2 f b s u s + b 4 u 4 = 0.
VI. If V t .M f = and ^6^=0 are the plane equations of two
points not coincident, then ^tf^f \ ^b i u i = is the plane equation of
any point on the line connecting the first two points. As \ takes all
values, all points of a range can be thus obtained.
VII. If 2)<W= 0, V^.= 0, and ^c { u { = are the plane equations
of three points not in the same plane, then ^a i u i } r \^b l u i +fj^c i u i =
is the plane equation of any point on the plane determined by the first
three points. As \ and p take all values, all points on the plane can
be found.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 199
The proofs of the last two theorems follow closely from theorems
I and II of 83.
The theorems of this section are plainly dualistic to the theorems
of the previous section. We exhibit in parallel columns the funda
mental dualistic objects:
Point Plane
Points in a plane. Planes through a point.
Points in two planes. Planes through two points.
A straight line. A straight line.
Points of a range. Planes of a pencil.
Planes of a bundle. Points of a plane.
EXERCISES
1. Write the equations, both in point and in plane coordinates, of the
vertices, the faces, and the edges of the coordinate tetrahedron.
2 . If a line is denned by the two points (^ : y z : y 3 : ?/ 4 ) and (z l : # 2 : # 8 : # 4 ),
show that its equations in plane coordinates are
and if a line is denned by the two planes (v l :v 2 :v s : v 4 ) and (w l :w 2 :w & :
show that its equations in point coordinates are
= 0.
3. Show that the condition that two lines denned by the planes
( a i : a : 3 : 4> ( b i b * :b * : ^) and ( c i :c * :c & : c ^> ( d i d 2 d a  d *), respec
tively, should intersect is
= 0,
and write the similar condition for two lines, each denned by two
points.
4. Two conjugate imaginary lines being denned as lines such that
each contains the conjugate imaginary point of any point of the other,
show that if two conjugate imaginary lines intersect, the point of inter
section and the plane of the two lines are real. Hence show that
conjugate imaginary lines cannot lie on an imaginary plane.
200 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
5. Show that if a plane contains two pairs of conjugate imaginary
points which are not on the same straight line the plane is real.
6. Two conjugate imaginary planes being defined as planes such that
each contains the conjugate imaginary point of any point of the other,
show that the plane coordinates of the planes are conjugate imaginary
quantities, and conversely. Prove that two conjugate imaginary planes
intersect in a real straight line.
85. Onedimensional extents of points. Consider the equations
where t is an independent variable and () are functions which
are continuous and possess derivatives of at least the first two
orders. We shall also assume that the ratios of the four functions
f t (t) are not independent of t. Then, to any value of t corresponds
one or more points xjxjxjx^ and as t varies these points describe
a onedimensional extent of points, which, by definition, is a curve.
It is evident that because of the factor p the form of the functions
fi(f) may be varied without changing the curve, but there is no
loss of generality if we assume a definite form for ft(f) and take
P =i.
Let y i be a point P obtained by putting t = t l m (1), and let Q
be a point obtained by putting t = ^ + At. Then the coordinates
of Q are y t .+ A/., and the points P and Q determine a straight line
with the equations
or oz^+XA^., (2)
where the ratios of Ay { and not the separate values of these quantities
are essential. As At approaches zero the ratios A^: A# 2 : Ay 3 : Ay 4
approach limiting ratiosc^: dy. 2 : dy 8 : d&=./i(O : J^(*i) : ./J(*i) : ./I(*i>
and the line (2) approaches as a limit the line
px t = y f + My,=f,(td + VJft). (3)
which is called the tangent line to the curve. At every point of the
curve at which the four derivatives ./J(t) do not vanish, there is a
definite tangent line.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 201
The points y i and y i f dy { , which suffice to fix the tangent line,
are often called consecutive points of the curve, but the exact
meaning of this expression must be taken from the foregoing
discussion.
We shall now show that the tangent lines to a curve in the neigh
borhood of a fixed point of the curve form a point extent of two dimen
sions, unless in the neighborhood of the point in question the curve is a
straight line.
This follows in general from the fact that equations (3) involve
two independent variables ^ and X. To examine the exceptional
case we notice that at least two of the functions f. (t) cannot be
identically zero if equations (1) do not represent a point. We
shall also consider the neighborhood of a value ^ in which f t (f)
are onevalued, and shall take/ 8 (T) and/ 4 (T) as the two functions
which do not vanish identically. We may then place 3 ^ = T and
replace equations (1) by the equivalent equations *
= T
(4)
where ^(T) and f\(r) are onevalued in the neighborhood considered.
The equations of the tangent line are then
and the points on these lines form a twodimensional extent unless
^.(r 1 ) + X^(T 1 )=^.(T 1 +X). (i = l,2) (5)
From this follows, by differentiating (5) with respect to X,
JJOOtfOi+X), (6)
and by differentiating (5) with respect to T I?
^(T 1 )+X^ (T 1 )=(T 1 +X), (7)
and from (6) and (7) we have ^ (T,) = ; whence P t (T,)= e n r + c i2 .
202 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETKY
Equations (4) then reduce to
These are the equations of a straight line and the theorem is proved.
Consider now three points, P, Q, A>, on the curve (1) with
the coordinates y t , y t .+ Ay t ., and y.+ Ay.+ A(y + Ay ), the incre
ments corresponding to the increment A; that is,
&=/<(*i)> ft + A^/A + ^O. & + A&+A(y,+AyO =/<+ 2 A*).
Then by the theorem of the mean,
Ay =/,< 4 AO /ft) = CtfCO + O A,
and by expansion into Maclaurin s series,
2 A  2
The three points P, $, and 7? determine a plane whose coordi
nates u { satisfy the three equations
u &i+ u *+ Va+ M^ 4 = 0,
w t Ay x + i/. 2 Ay 2 + M 8 Ay 8 + w 4 Ay 4  0, (8)
w^^H w, 2 A 2 y 2 + w 8 A 2 y 8 + w 4 A a y 4 = 0.
As A approaches zero the three points P, Q, and.fi approach
coincidence, and the plane (8) approaches as a limit the plane
whose coordinates satisfy the three equations
^2/1+ W 2 #o +^3 + W 4#4=
u l dy l + u 2 dy 2 f w 3 ^ 3 + w 4 <% 4  0, (9)
VVi+ W 2 + V 2 y 8 + W 4 = 
This plane is called the osculating plane at the point P. It is
evident that at any point P there is in general a definite osculating
plane. The only exceptions occur when the point P is such that
the solution of the equations (9) is indeterminate. Writing these
equations with derivatives in place of differentials we have
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 203
and in order that the solution of these equations should be inde
terminant it is necessary and sufficient that t l should satisfy the
equations formed by equating to zero all determinants of the third
order formed from the matrix
/,(,)
If these equations have solutions they will be in general discrete
values of ^ which give discrete points on the curve at which the
osculating plane is indeterminate. To examine the character of a
curve for which the osculating plane is everywhere indeterminate,
it is convenient to take the equations of the curve in the form (4).
Equations (10) then take the form
O) + W 3 r+ W 4 = 0,
+ u&(r) + u a = 0, (11)
and these have an indeterminate solution when and only when
Fj (r)=0, *! (T)=0. (12)
If equations (9) are true for all values of T, the curve is a
straight line, as has already been shown.
Equations (10) determine u { as functions of the parameter t^
Therefore the osculating planes of a curve form in general a one
dimensional extent of planes. An exception can occur only when
the ratios of u { determined by (10) are constant. To examine this
case take again the special form (4) of the equations of the curve
and consider equations (11). If the ratios u t determined by (11)
are constant, it is first of all necessary that
^ (T)=^ (T);
whence ^2( T ) ^i^i( T ) + C 2 T + c s
Equations (4) then become
204 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and any point whose coordinates satisfy these equations lies in
the plane ^s.+ ^+^O.
It is evident from the definition that this plane is the osculating
plane at every point of the curve, and this can be verified from equa
tions (11). We may accordingly make more precise the theorem
already stated by saying that the osculating planes of a curve in the
neighborhood of a fixed point of the curve form a onedimensional extent
of planes unless the curve is a plane curve in the neighborhood considered.
If from equations (1) the parameter t is eliminated in two ways,
there results two equations of the form
/(^, x 2 , x 3 , * 4 )=0,
9 0*v^ 2 8 a; 4)= 
Conversely, any equations of form (13) may in general be replaced
by equivalent equations of form (1).
EXERCISES
1. Show that in nonhomogeneous coordinates the equations of the
tangent line and the osculating plane are, respectively,
Xx Yy Z z
dx dy dz
Xx Yy Z z
and
dx dy dz
= 0.
2. Find the tangent line and osculating plane to the following curves :
(1) The cubic, x = t s , y = t 2 , z = t.
(2) The helix, x = a cos 0, y a sin 0, z = kO.
(3) The conical helix, x = t cos t, y = t sin t, z = kt.
3. Show that the osculating plane may be defined as the plane ap
proached as a limit by a plane through the tangent line to the curve at
a point P and through any other point P , as P approaches P.
4. Show that the osculating plane may also be defined as the plane
approached as a limit by a plane through a tangent line at P and parallel
to a tangent line at P , the limit being taken as P approaches P.
5. The principal normal to a curve is the line in the osculating plane
perpendicular to the tangent at the point of contact ; the binormal is the
line perpendicular to the tangent and to the principal normal. Find the
equations of these normals.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 205
86. Locus of an equation in point coordinates. Consider the
equation /(*,,*,,*., O = . (1)
where / is a homogeneous function of x^ x^ x^ and x^ which is
continuous and has derivatives of at least the first two orders.
Two of the ratios x l : x 2 : x s : x 4 can be assumed arbitrarily, and the
third determined from the equation. The equation therefore defines
a twodimensional extent of points which by definition is called a
surface.
If / is an algebraic polynomial of degree n, the surface is called
a surface of the nth order. Any straight line meets a surface of the
nth order in n points or lies entirely on the surface. To prove this
notice that a straight line is represented by equations of the form
/w^ft+Mi
where y { and z { are fixed points, and that these values of x. substi
tuted in (1) give an equation of the nth order in X unless (1) is
satisfied identically.
A tangent line to a surface is defined as the limit line approached
by the secant through two points of the surface as the two points
approach coincidence. Let y { be the coordinates of a point P on
the surface and y.+ A# t . those of a neighboring point Q also on the
surface. The points P and Q determine a secant line, the equations
of which are px t =y t +\(y ( + A*,,),
which can also be written
*>*,= &+M&, (2)
where the ratios of A?/ t . and not their individual values are essential.
Now let the point Q approach the point P, moving on the surface,
so that the ratios A^ : A?/ 2 : Ai/ 3 : A?/ 4 approach definite limiting ratios
ty\ : dy 2 dy z : dy^ Then the line (2) approaches the limiting line
which is a tangent line to the surface at the point P.
If the four derivatives ~i > do not all vanish, the
fy ty* fy, fy
ratios dy 1 : dy z : dy z : dy^ are bound only by the condition
+dyd+ dyO. (4)
206 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
By Euler s theorem for homogeneous functions we have, since
y { satisfies equation (1),
By virtue of (4) and (5) any point x i of (3) satisfies the equation
This is the equation of a plane, and its coefficients depend only
upon the coordinates of P and not on the ratios dy^ : dy z : dy^ : dy^.
Hence all points on all tangent lines to the surface satisfy the
equation (6). Equation (6), however, becomes illusive, and the dis
cussion which led to it is impossible when P is such a point that
Points which satisfy these equations are called singular points,
and other points are called regular points. We have, then, the
following theorem :
All tangent lines to a surface at a regular point lie in a plane
called the tangent plane, the equation of which is (6).
In the equation (6) the point y { is called the point of tangency.
Conversely, any line drawn in the tangent plane through the point
of tangency is a tangent line. To prove this take z., any point
in the plane (6). Then
a/ df 3f cf
*1 F^ ^F^ + *3 ^ + *4 / = >
fyl ^ 2 fy, ^4
and the equations of the line through y { and z. are
px i y i + X2;.
But a point Q on the surface may be made to approach P in
such a* way that dy^ : dy^ : dy & : dy^ = z l : z 2 : z 3 : z f since the only
restriction on dy { is given by (4), which is satisfied by z.. Hence
the line determined by y i and z. has equations of the form (3) and
is therefore a tangent line, and the theorem is proved.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES
207
The plane coordinates of the tangent plane to the surface (1)
are, from (6),
W,f ( = 1.2, 3, 4) (7)
The coordinates y { can be eliminated between these equations,
and the equation
/O/i y<? y& # 4 ) (8)
found by substituting y. for #. in (1). There are three possible
results :
1. There may be a single equation of the form
This is the general case, in which the equations (7) can be
solved and the results substituted in (8).
The condition for this is that the Jacobian
shall not vanish. In this case the tangent planes to (1) form a
twodimensional extent and their coordinates satisfy (9).
If < (MJ, u 2 , u^ u^) is an algebraic polynomial of the rath degree,
the surface (1) is said to be of the mih class. Through any straight
line m planes can be passed, tangent to a surface of the mth class. To
prove this notice that a plane through any straight line has the
coordinates
pu { = v { + \w.,
where v t . and w i are fixed coordinates. These values of u { substi
tuted in (9) give an equation of the mih degree in \. This proves
the theorem.
For example, consider the surface
208 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The coordinates of its tangent plane are
and these values substituted in
a, yl =
give
^ 2 s
The order and class of this surface are both 2, but the class of
a surface is not in general equal to its order.
2. There may be two equations of the form
ifrfu^ u 2 , u 3 , w 4 )=0.
In this case the tangent planes to (1) form a onedimensional
extent. The surface is called a developable surface.
For example, consider the surface
x* + x% x%+ 2 x 3 x A  x*= 0.
The coordinates of a tangent plane at y. are
The elimination of y { from these equations and the equation
yt+ytyt+2y,ytyt=v>
gives the two equations u s \ u = 0,
<+<<=0.
3. There may be three equations of the form
These equations can be solved for w v Hence in this case the
tangent planes form a discrete system.
For example, consider the surface
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 209
The tangent planes have the coordinates
These lead to the equations
= 0.
The tangent planes are the two planes x 4 = and x^+x z +x n ~ 0.
In fact the surface consists of these two planes.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the section of a surface made by a tangent plane is a
curve which has a singular point at the point of contact of the plane.
2. Show that the section of a surface of the nth order made hy any
plane is a curve of the nth order.
3. Show that any tangent plane to a surface of second order inter
sects the surface in two straight lines, and in particular that the tangent
plane to a sphere intersects the sphere in two minimum lines.
4. Show that through the point of contact of a surface and a tan
gent plane there go in general two lines lying in the plane and having
three coincident points in common with the surface.
5. Show that the equation f(x l9 x 2 , x a ) = 0, where the function / is
homogeneous in x v x z , x s and the coordinate x 4 is missing, represents
a cone, by showing that it is the locus of lines through the point
0:0:0:1.
6. Show that the tangent plane to a cone contains the element of
the cone through the point of contact.
7. From Ex. 5 show that in nonhomogeneous Cartesian coordinates
the equation /(.x, y, z) = 0, where / is homogeneous, represents a cone
with its vertex at the origin and that f(x, y) = represents a cylinder
with its elements parallel to OZ.
8. Show that through a singular point of a surface there goes in
general a cone of lines each of which has three coincident points in
common with the surface.
210
THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
9. Find the equation or equations satisfied by the coordinates of
the tangent planes of each of the following surfaces :
(1) 2 ax,x 2 + l>x} + cxl = 0,
(2) 2 cwc^a + ^ 2 2 + ex* = 0,
(3) 2 axjXt + for? + c.rf = 0.
10. Show that the tangent planes of a cone or a cylinder form a
onedimensional extent.
11. If the equation of a surface is written in the nonhomogeneous
form z =/(, y) t show that its tangent planes form a twodimensional
* 2 2
extent unless rt s 2 0, where r=
> $ = T^TT
ex* dxdy
t =
12. Show that two simultaneous equations <^> 1 (^ 1 , x 2 , x 3 , a; 4 )= and
^> 2 (x 1 , x 2 , # 3 , se 4 ) = define a curve, and that if the tangent planes to
the curve are defined as the planes through the tangent lines to the
curve, they form a twodimensional extent given by the equations
pU; = ~^ f XTT^ together with the equations of the curve.
ox i ox i
87. Onedimensional extents of planes. Consider the equations
Wl =/!(0.
(1)
f. =/,(<)
where u i are plane coordinates, ^ an independent variable, and
fi(t) functions of t which are con
tinuous and possess derivatives of
at least the first two orders. We
shall also assume that the ratios of
the four f unctions /.(i) are not in
dependent of t. The equations then
define a onedimensional extent of
planes. Let v be the coordinates
of a plane p (Fig. 53) obtained by
placing t = 1 1 in (1) and let v t + Av t 
be the coordinates of a plane q
found by placing t = t l + A. Then p and q determine a straight
line m, the equations of which are
FIG. 53
or
pu { = v t +
oUi v t +
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 211
As A approaches zero the line m approaches a limiting line /,
of which the equations are
M = v< + \d Vi =/. (g + \f( (g. (2)
This line is called a characteristic of the extent denned by (1).
It is evident that in any plane of the extent for which the four deriv
atives f ^t) do not vanish there is a definite characteristic.
We shall now prove the proposition
The characteristics form in general a surface to which each plane of
the defining plane extent is tangent along the entire characteristic in
that plane.
To prove this we notice that any point x i which lies in a char
acteristic satisfies the two equations
= o,
,// (0 + *JXf) + * 3
and that in general t may be eliminated from these equations with
a result of the form , , \ A
tC***?****) 8 *^ (4)
This proves that any point on any characteristic lies on the sur
face with the equation (4).
By virtue of the manner in which (4) was derived we may write
where t is to be determined as a function of x i from the second of
equations (3). Therefore
This shows that the tangent plane of (4) is the plane u. of the
extent (1) and that the same tangent plane is found for all points
for which t has the same value ; that is, for all points on the same
characteristic. The proposition is then proved.
Consider now three planes, v t ., v { Av t ., v { + Av t . +A(v. +Av.).
They determine a point P the coordinates of which satisfy the
three equations ^ + Vi + x^x^= 0,
z A v 2 + x s kv s + x^ A v 4 =0, (5)
2 v 2 + a 8 A 2 r a + a 4 A*v 4 = 0,
212 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and as A approaches zero the point P approaches as a limit a
point L the coordinates of which satisfy the equations
x^dv^ + x 2 dv 2 + x 3 dv 3 + x 4 dv 4 = 0, (6)
x^\+ xd\ + x 3 d\+x 4 d\ = 0,
or, what is the same thing, the equations
3/ 3 (0 H V 4 (0 = 0,
/ 3 (0 + *4/J(0 = 0, (7)
/3 (0 + xj*l (0  o.
The point L we shall call the limit point in the plane v i and shall
prove the following proposition :
The locus of the limit points is in general a curve, called the
cuspidal edge, to which the characteristics are tangent.
The first part of the proposition follows from the fact that equa
tions (6) can in general be solved for x l as functions of t.
To prove the second part of the proposition note that by differ
entiating the first two equations of (7) on the hypothesis that
x i> X
three equations (7), we have
2> x s> X 4 an( ^ * varv > an d reducing the results by aid of the
Now from (3), 86, the tangent line to the cuspidal edge at a
point (a: 1 , # 2 , # 8 , a? 4 ) given by a value t has the equations
and from (7) and (8) any values of the coordinates X^ which satisfy
these equations satisfy also
that is, the point X { lies on the characteristic (3).
To complete the general discussion we shall now prove the
proposition
The osculating planes of the cuspidal edge are the planes of the
defining plane extent.
By differentiating the first of equations (7) and reducing by
the aid of the second equation, we have ^\dx i f i (^t^)=0. Therefore
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 213
by selecting the proper equations from (3) and (8) and replacing
/i(0 by fl p we have the equations
But from (9), 85, these equations define v i as the osculating
plane of the cuspidal edge. This proves the proposition.
In the foregoing discussion we have considered what happens in
general. To examine the exceptional cases we may, as in 85,
write the equations (1) in the form
pu =
H 2
The equations (3) for the characteristics now become
a^iCO + * a *iCO + 3 + ar 4 = 0,
^ 1 (r) + rr 2 ^(T)4^ 3 =0,
and the equations (7) for the limit points become
*i^i( T ) + ^O) + ay + ^ 4 = 0,
^(T) + ^ (T) + ^ =0, (11)
=0.
The second of the equations (10) can be solved for T unless
whence ^(r) = ^T + <? 8 ,
and ^(r)=0,
In this case equations (10) become
so that all characteristics are the same straight line. At the same time
equations (9) become pu =cr + c ,
= T,
which are of the type (2), 84, and represent a pencil of planes
determined by the two planes (c g : c 4 : : 1) and (^ : c o : 1 : 0). The
214 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
axis of the pencil is the straight line (12) with which the charac
teristics coincide.
Turning now to equations (11) we see that the last one deter
mines x l : x 2 and the others determine x z and x^ unless F" (T) =
and F" (T) 0. This is the same exceptional case just considered.
The equations for the limit points become equations (12), so that
the limit point in each plane is indeterminate but lies on the axis
of the pencil of planes.
Another exceptional case appears here also when the solutions
of (11) do not involve r. This happens when
*?<>>* V?<*>;
whence ^ 2 ( T ) = c i^i( T ) + c z r + *V
Equations (11) then have the solution
vvv**=v 1: v<v
At the same time equations (9) are
PU 8 = T,
pu^ = 1.
All planes which satisfy these equations pass through the point (13).
The surface of the characteristics is in this case a cone, since it
is made up of lines through a common point. The cuspidal edge
reduces to the vertex of the cone.
In 86 we have shown that the tangent planes to a surface
may, under certain conditions, form a onedimensional extent of
planes, and have called such surfaces developable surfaces. We may
now state the following theorem, which is in a sense the converse
of the above :
Any onedimensional extent of planes is composed of planes which
are tangent to a developable surface, where, in the neighborhood of
each point, the surface may be one of the following three kinds :
1. It may be composed of tangent lines to a space curve.
2. It may be a cone. (If the vertex is at infinity, the cone is a
cylinder.)
3. It may degenerate into the axis of a pencil of planes.
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 215
In the above theorem the nature of the surface has been de
scribed only for each portion of it, since the foregoing discussion
is based on the nature of the functions f { () in the neighborhood
of a value of , which fixes a definite plane, a definite character
istic, and a definite point on the cuspidal edge. In the simplest
case the developable surface will have throughout one of the
forms given above. Next in simplicity would be the case in which
the surface is composed of two or more surfaces, each of which is
one of the above kinds. It is of course possible to define surfaces
which have different natures in different portions, but the char
acter of each portion must be as above if the functions/^. () satisfy
the conditions given.
The planes of the extent are said in each case to envelop the
developable surface.
88. Locus of an equation in plane coordinates. Consider an
equation u =
where / is a homogeneous function of the plane coordinates u f . We
shall consider only functions which are continuous and have deriva
tives of at least the first two orders. Two of the ratios u^ : u 2 : u s : u^
can be assumed arbitrarily, and the third determined from the equa
tion. Hence the equation represents an extent of two dimensions.
If f is a polynomial of the nth degree, then n planes belonging to
the extent (1) pass through any general line in space. The proof
is as in 86. In this case the extent is
said to be of the nib. class.
We shall not restrict ourselves, how
ever, to polynomials in the following dis
cussion, but shall proceed to find some of
the general properties of the extent (1).
Let Vf be the coordinates of a plane p
(Fig. 54) of the configuration defined by
(1), and v i 4 Av t . those of another plane #,
also of the configuration. The two planes p and q determine a
line m whose equations in plane coordinates (theorem I, 84) are
Pt9 < + X(
or, otherwise written, (TU { v. + /tAv,.,
where the ratios only of Av. are essential.
216 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Now let q approach coincidence with p in such a way that the
ratios Av 1 : Ai> 2 : Av g : A# 4 approach limiting ratios dv^ : dv 2 : dv s : dv^.
The line m approaches a limiting line L whose equations in plane
coordinates are ffu . = v , + ^ v ..
The differentials dv are bound only by the condition
so that the planes with coordinates dv l : dv 2 : dv 3 : dv^ form a linear
onedimensional extent which by theorem II, 84, consists of all
planes through the point JP, whose coordinates are
This point lies in the plane v f since, by Euler s theorem for
homogeneous functions,
which is the condition (1), 84, for united position.
A line L is the intersection of any one of the planes dv^i dv 2 : dv s : dv 4
with the plane v 1 : v 2 : v s : t> 4 . Hence the lines L form a pencil of
lines through P.
The point P is not determined by equations (3) if
Jf.O, M = 0, ffA f = 0. (5)
Wj <7V 2 <?V g <7V 4
A plane for which these conditions is met is called a singular
plane of the extent (1). Other planes are called regular planes.
We sum up our results in the following theorem :
In any regular plane p of the extent (1) there lies a definite point P
whose coordinates are given by (3) and which has the property that
any line of the pencil with the vertex P and in the plane p is the limit
of the intersection of p and a neighboring plane.
The point P may be called the limit point in the plane p.
The elimination of v { from equations (3) and equation (1), written
in v f , will give the locus of the points P. There are three cases :
I. The elimination may give one and only one equation of the
form *(*,** *.)=<). (6)
POINT AND PLANE COOKDINATES 217
The locus of p is then a surface. If the extent (1) is of the nth
class, the surface (6) is also called a surface of the nth class.
II. There may be two equations of the form
The locus of P is then a curve.
III. There may be three equations connecting x^ # 2 , x^ x^. The
points P are then discrete points.
We shall now show that the planes of (1) are tangent to the
locus of P in such a manner that P is the point of tangency of
the plane p, in which it lies.
To prove this write equation (4) in the form
A+Vi+Vi+ A.
and differentiate. We have
^v,dx. +2^ t .cZv t .= 0,
which, by aid of (2) and (3), is
Consider now in order the previous cases.
I. If x. satisfy a single equation (6), we have
By comparison of (8) and (9) we have pv f = ^ which shows
that v i are the coordinates of the tangent to < = at the point x t .
II. If x i satisfy the two equations (7), we have
A comparison with (8) gives pv . = + X ^ which shows that
Vf passes through the line of intersection of the tangent planes to
</\= and ( 2 = and hence is tangent to the curve denned by the
two surfaces.
III. If the points x. are discrete points, we may say that each
plane of the extent is tangent to the point, through which it passes,
218 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
thus extending the use of the word " tangent " in a manner which
will be useful later. Summing up, we say :
A twodimensional extent of planes consists of planes which are
tangent either to a surface or to a curve or to a point.
The theorem has reference, of course, only to the neighborhood
of a plane of the extent. The entire extent may have the same
nature throughout or different natures in different portions.
89. Change of coordinates. A tetrahedron of reference and a set
of coordinates x t having been chosen, consider any four planes not
meeting in a point the equations of which are
the coefficients being subject to the single condition that their deter
minant  a ik  shall not vanish. We assert that if we place
px f = a^x, 4 a, 2 x 2 + a is x s + a^ , (2)
then x[ are the coordinates of the point x i referred to the tetrahedron
formed by the four planes (1). The proof runs along the same
lines as that of the corresponding theorem in the plane ( 29) and
will accordingly not be given.
It is also easy to show that by the same change of the tetrahedron
of reference, the coordinates u { become wj, where
pu . = a liUl 4 a,.u, 4 a si u, + a 4i u, . (3)
The change from one set of Cartesian coordinates to another is
effected by means of formulas which are special cases of (2). If
(x:y:z:t) are rectangular Cartesian coordinates and
a^x + 1$ 4 c t z h ef = 0,
a 2 x + b z y + c z z + et = 0, (4)
V + ty + V + V 830
are any three iionparallel planes, and we place
px = \(ajc + \y f cz 4 e),
py < = Ic^ajc 4 1$ + c 2 2 + 2 0, 5
pz = k s (a 3 x s 4 \y, 4 c s 8 4 ef),
pt =t,
POINT AND PLANE COORDINATES 219
the quantities x\ y , z , t are proportional to the perpendiculars on
the three planes, and it is possible to adjust the factors k i so that
x ly iz i t may be exactly the Cartesian coordinates referred to the
planes (4) as coordinate planes, the coordinates being rectangular
or oblique according to the relative position of the planes (4).
The equations (5) represent a change from a rectangular set of
coordinates to another set which may or may not be rectangular,
and conversely. A change from an oblique system to another is
represented by formulas of the same type, since the change may
be brought about as the result of two transformations of this type.
EXERCISES
1. Find the characteristics, characteristic surface, and cuspidal edge
of each of the following extent of planes :
(1) ^ = 1, pt( 2 = 3 #, P u s = 3 t\ pu^ = t*.
(2) pWj= a/c sin t, pu 2 = ak cos t, pn z = a 2 , pi 4 = a*kt.
(3) pu l= l  t*, P u 2 = 2 t, P u t =
(4) pu l =2 t, P u 2 = t 2  1, P w 8
2. If a minimum developable is defined as a onedimensional extent
of minimum planes, show that the characteristics are minimum lines and
the cuspidal edge is a minimum curve unless the developable is a cone.
3. Show that the necessary and sufficient condition that the surface
z=f(x, y) should be a minimum developable is that p 2 f (f +1 0,
where p = ^, q = TT . (Compare Ex. 11, 86.)
4. Prove that planes which are tangent at the same time to two
given surfaces, two given curves, or a given surface and a given curve
define developable surfaces.
5. Find the envelope of each of the following onedimensional extent
of planes :
(1) 2 ul + 3 ul + 4 ul  24 y l = 0.
(2) 3w 1 2 ? 8 w 4 8 =0.
(3) *+ ;=<>.
(4) Wl 2 + nl + 2 ul  2 Ul n 2 f 2 Wl w a  2 2 w 8  it; = 0.
6. Show that the minimum planes form a twodimensional extent
and find its equation.
7. Show that px t =f t (t) \sfi (t) (I = 1, 2, 3, 4) defines a developable
surface and, conversely, that any developable surface which is not a
cone or the axis of a pencil of planes may be expressed in this way.
CHAPTER XIII
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND OF SECOND CLASS
90. Surfaces of second order. Consider the equation
which defines a surface of second order ( 86). The Jacobian of
86 becomes, except for a factor 2, the determinant
a u %
called the discriminant of the equation. We may make the follow
ing preliminary classification :
I. A = 0. The surface has a doubly infinite set of tangent planes.
The plane equation of the surface may be found by eliminating u {
from the equations
(2)
and equation (1). But a combination of (2) and (1) gives readily
and the elimination of o^. from this equation and the set (2) gives
i a a u
22 23 24 1
u 4
= 0.
(3)
220
SUKFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 221
This is an equation of the second degree in u t . Hence a sur
face of the second order for which the discriminant is not zero is also
a surface of the second class ( 88).
It is not difficult to show that the discriminant of (3) is not
equal to zero.
II. A= 0. The tangent planes either form a onedimensional
extent of planes or consist of discrete planes. These cases will be
examined later.
91. Singular points. By 86 singular points on the surface (1),
90, are given by the equations
There are four cases :
I. A = 0. Equations (1) have no solution, and the surface has
no singular points. This is the general case.
II. A= 0, but not all its first minors are zero. The surface has
one and only one singular point. Let y. be the coordinates of the
singular point and z t the coordinates of any other point in space,
and consider the straight line
px .= yi +\ Zi . (2)
To find the points in which the line (2) meets the surface sub
stitute in equation (1), 90. Since the coordinates y. satisfy the
equation of the surface and also the equations (1), the result is
V2,W t =0 (3)
This shows that any line through a singular point meets the sur
face only at that point (X = 0), and there with a doubly counted
point of intersection. An exception occurs when 2. is taken on
the surface. Then equation (3) is identically satisfied, and the
line yz lies entirely on the surface. Hence the surface is a cone
ivith the singular point as the vertex. There is no plane equa
tion of the surface. In fact the tangent planes form a singly
infinite extent of planes, and their coordinates are subject to two
conditions.
222 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
III. A = 0, all its first minors are zero, but not all its second minors
are zero. Equations (1) contain two and only two independent equa
tions and hence the surface has a line of singular points. If this
line is taken as the line x^= 0, x 2 = in the coordinate system, equa
tions (1) show that we shall have a is = a u = a zs = a^ = a ss = a s4 = a =0,
and the equation of the surface becomes 11 # 1 2 + 2 12 ^ 2 + 22 ^ 2 2 = 0.
At least two of the coefficients in the last equation cannot vanish,
since the surface has only the line 2^=0 and x^= of singular
points. Therefore the lefthand member of the equation of the sur
face factors into two linear factors. Hence the surface consists of
two distinct planes intersecting in the line of singular points.
IV. A= 0, all its first and second minors are zero, but not all
the third minors are zero. Equations (1) contain one and only one
independent equation, and hence the surface has a plane of sin
gular points. If this plane is taken as x 1 = 0, the equation of the
surface becomes x* = 0. Hence the surface consists of the plane of
singular points doubly reckoned.
92. Poles and polars. The polar plane of a point y i (the pole)
with respect to a surface of the second order whose equation is
(1), 90, is defined as the plane whose coordinates are
a, 2 y 2 + a^ + a^y, . (1)
The following theorems are obvious or may be proved as are
the similar theorems of 34 :
/. If the pole is on the surface, the polar plane is a tangent plane,
the pole being the point of contact.
II. To every point not a singular point of the surface corresponds
a unique polar plane.
III. To every plane corresponds a unique pole tvhen and only when
the discriminant of the surface does not vanish.
IV. A polar plane contains its pole when and only when the pole is
on the surface.
V. All polar planes pass through all the singular points of the
surface when such exist.
VI. If a point P lies on the polar plane of a point Q, then Q lies
on the polar plane of P.
* VII. All tangent planes through a point P touch the surface in a
curve which lies in the polar plane of P.
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 223
VIII. For a surface of second order without singular points it is
possible in an infinite number of ways to construct a tetrahedron in
ivhich each face is the polar plane of the opposite vertex.
These are selfpolar tetrahedrons.
IX. If any straight line m is passed through a point P, and R and
S are the points in which m intersects a surface of second order and
Q is the point of intersection of m and the polar plane of P, then P
and Q are harmonic conjugates with respect to R and S.
In addition to these theorems we will state and prove the
following, which have no counterparts in 34:
X. The polar planes of points on a range form a pencil of planes the
axis of which is called the conjugate polar line of the base of the range.
Reciprocally the polar planes of points on the axis of this pencil form
another pencil the axis of which is the base of the original range.
Consider any range two of whose points are P and Q (Fig. 55).
Let the polar planes of P and Q intersect in LK, and let A be any
point of LK. The polar plane of A must contain both P and Q
(theorem VI) and hence the entire line PQ. Now let R be any
point on PQ. Its polar plane must
contain A (theorem VI). But A is
any point of LK. Therefore the polar
plane of R contains LK. This proves
the theorem. It is to be noted that the
opposite edges of a selfpolar tetra
hedron are conjugate polar lines.
XL If two conjugate polar lines in
tersect, each, is tangent to the surface
at their point of intersection. K \Q
Let two conjugate polar lines, PQ FIG 55
and LK, intersect at R. Since R
lies in each of the lines PQ and LK its polar plane must contain
each of these lines by the definition of conjugate polar lines. Hence
the polar plane of R contains R and is therefore (theorems IV
and I) the tangent plane at R. The two lines LK and PQ lying
in the tangent plane and passing through R are tangent to the
surface at R.
224 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Show that any chord drawn through a fixed point P 9 intersecting
at infinity the polar plane of P with respect to a quadric, is bisected by P.
Hence show that if a quadric is not tangent to the plane at infinity there
is a point such that all chords through it are bisected by it. This is
the center of the quadric.
2. Show that the locus of the middle points of a system of parallel
chords is a plane which is the polar plane of the point in which the
parallel chords meet the plane at infinity. This is a diametral plane
conjugate to the direction of the parallel chords. Show that a diametral
plane passes through the center of the quadric, if there is one, and
through the point of contact with the plane at infinity if the surface
is tangent to the plane at infinity.
3. Prove that all points on a straight line which passes through the
vertex of a cone have the same polar plane ; namely, the diametral plane
conjugate to the direction of the line.
4. Show that if a plane conjugate to a given direction is parallel to
a second given line, the plane conjugate to the latter line is parallel to
the first. Three diametral planes are said to be conjugate when each
is conjugate to the intersection of the other two. Show that the inter
sections of three conjugate diametral planes with the plane at infinity
form a triangle which is self polar with respect to the curve of inter
section of the quadric and the plane at infinity. Discuss the existence
and number of such conjugate planes in the two cases of central quad
rics and quadrics tangent to the plane at infinity.
5. Show that if a line is tangent to a quadric surface its conjugate
polar is also tangent to the surface at the same point, and that the two
conjugate polars are harmonic conjugates with respect to the two lines in
which the tangent plane at their point of intersection cuts the surface.
6. Show that the conjugate polars of all lines in a pencil form a
pencil. When do the two pencils coincide ? Show that the conjugate
polars of all lines in a plane form a bundle of lines, and conversely.
93. Classification of surfaces of second order. With the aid of the
results of the last two sections it is now possible to obtain the
simplest equations of the various types of surfaces of the second
order which have already been arranged in classes in 91.
I. The general surface. A = 0. The surface has no singular point
(91) and there can be found self polar tetrahedrons (92). Let
one such tetrahedron be taken as the tetrahedron of reference in the
[JRFACES OF SECOND ORDEK AND SECOND CLASS 225
coordinate system. Then the equation of the surface must be such
thai the polar of : : : 1 is x^= 0, that of : : 1 : is x s = 0,
tha, of : 1 : : is x 2 = 0, and that of 1 : : : is x^ = 0. The
equation is then 2 2 2 Q 2
11 1 22 2 ~T~ 33 3 44 4 "j V X
wh;re no one of the coefficients can be zer^^br, if it were, the
surface would contain a singular point. ^B
It is obvious that if the original tetralflj^n of reference were
real and if the coefficients in the original equation of the surface
were real, the new tetrahedron of reference and the new coefficients
are also real. We may now replace x i in the last equation by a> i \x i
^arid have three types according to the signs of the terms resulting.
it 1. The imaginary type, xl f xl + xl t T?= 0. (3)
Th v is equation is satisfied by no real points.
2.\The oval type, x? + x* + xl~ x?= 0. (4)
No r l eal straight line can meet this surface in more tl\ n two real
points. If it did, it would lie entirely on the surface (/>), and
hence tht^ point in which it met the plane x 4 = would be a real
point of tl^ie surface. But the plane x^= meets the surface in the
curve xl+ A *;\x= 0, which has no real point. Hence, as was said,
no real stra ight line can meet the surface in more than two real
points. The surface, however, contains imaginary straight lines as
will be seen li iter.
3. The saddle type, xl + xl  xl  xl = 0. (4)
Through every , point of this surface go two real straight lines
which lie entirel}  on the surface. This follows from the fact that
whatever be the v alues of \ and /i, the two lines
lie entirely on the surfae^e. Moreover, values of X and //, may be
easily found so that one o% each of these straight lines may pass
through any point of the surface. This matter will be discussed in
detail in 96.
As the three types of surfaces * here named are distinguished by
properties which are essentially diti^erent in the domain of reality,
226 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the corresponding equations can evidently not be reduced to :ach
other by any real change of coordinates. However, if no distinction
is made between reals and imaginaries, all surfaces of the tiree
types may be represented by the single equation
xl + xl H xl + xl = 0. (5)
II. The cones. B^ but not all the first minors are zero. The
surface has one shfljppoint ( 91) anc ^ ^ s a cone w ^ n ^ ne singular
point as the vertex. Let the vertex be taken as A (0:0:0:1).
Then in the equation of the surface a u = a^ = a^ = a^= 0. Take
now as B (0 : : 1 : 0) any point not on the surface. Its polar plane
contains A (theorem V, 92) but not B (theorem IV, 92). Take
as C (0 : 1 : : 0) any poir in this plane but not on the surfac^.
Such points exist unles? the polar plane of B lies entirely on t/?he
surface, which is imp^jsible since B was taken as not on the surf * ace.
The polar plane of C contains A and B and intersects the polar
plane of B in a line through A. Take D (1 : : : 0) as anv} point
on this Ijtfe. We have now fixed the tetrahedron of reference so
that (? : : : 1 is a singular point, the polar plane of : Jf J : 1 : is
x 9  0, the polar plane of : 1 : : is x 2 = 0, and the r&olar plane
of 1 : : : is x^= 0. Therefore the equation of thf/3 surface is
a 11 x 1 + a^ a + a u x 9 , ^ ^
where no one of the three coefficients can vanish, sin/ce the surface
has only one singular point. By a real transformatior^i of coordinates
this equation reduces to two typks :
1. The imaginary cone, x* f xl + xl = 0.
2. The real cone, x* + xl  xl = 0.
III. Two intersecting planes. A= 0, all the fii/ st minors are zero,
but not all the second minors are zero. This ff has been sufficiently
discussed (91). There are obviously twcK> types in the domain
of reals ; namely :
1. Imaginary planes, ^ + # 2 2 =/ 0.
2. Real planes, x? %lf 0
IV. Two coincident planes. A = O^f all the first and all the second
minors are equal to zero. Evidently the equation in this case is
reducible to the form jl^ n
r^i ^i
;
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 227
but the plane 2^= is not necessarily real. In fact the condition
that all the second minors of A vanish is the condition that the
lefthand member of equation (1), 90, should be a perfect square,
as is easily verified by the student.
94. Surfaces of second order in Cartesian coordinates. As we
have seen ( 82), we obtain Cartesian coor^rates from general
quadriplanar coordinates by taking one of y^iBrdinate planes as
the plane at infinity and giving special va^^o the constants k r
This being done, the general equation of the second degree will
be written
a% 2 + bx 2 + cz*+ %fyz + Zgzx +2hxy + 2lxt+2 myt + 2nzt + dt*= 0, (1)
which reduces to the usual nonhomogeneous form when t is placed
equal to 1.
For equation (1) the results of 9093 remain unchanged
except for a slight change of notation. We will refer to the equa
tions of these sections by number and make the necessary change
in notation without further remark. Assuming that A = we
may find the pole of the plane at infinity, for example, by placing
w t . in equations (1), 92, equal to the coordinates 0:0:0:1 of the
plane at infinity. There result the equations
ax + Tiy + gz + It = 0,
lix + by +fz + mt = Q,
gx +fy + cz + nt = 0,
Ix 4 my + ftz + dt = /?,
the solution of which is the coordinates of the pole required. This
pole is therefore a finite point when the determinant
a h
D= h b f
9 f c
is not zero and is a point at infinity when D = 0.
In the latter case, by theorems IV and I, 92, the surface is
tangent to the plane at infinity. In the former case, if the pole
of the plane at infinity is taken as 0:0:0:1, then l = m = n = 0,
and consequently it appears that if xjyjz^.t^ is a point on the
surface, x l : y l : z l : ^ is also on the surface. The point is
therefore called the center of the surface, and the surface is called
228 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
a central surface. Conversely, if a surface without singular points
has a center (that is, if there exists a point which is the middle
point of all chords through it), that point is the pole of the plane
at infinity. This follows from theorem IX, 92, or may be shown
by assuming the center as the origin of coordinates and reversing
the argument jus^jaade.
We have reac HH following result :
A surface of sec^fm der with the equatiomQ*) is a central surface
or a noncentral surface according as the determinant D is not or is
equal to zero. A noncentral surface is tangent to the plane at infinity.
Holding now to the significance of the determinant A as given
in 90 we may proceed to find the simplest forms of the equa
tions of the surface in Cartesian coordinates. There will be this
difference from the work of 93 that now the plane t = plays
a unique role and must always remain as one of the coordinate
planes. The other three coordinate planes, however, may be
taken at pleasure, and we shall not at present restrict ourselves
to rectangular coordinates.
1. Central surfaces without singular points. As in 93, by refer
ring the surface to a selfpolar tetrahedron one of whose faces is
the plane at infinity its equation becomes
According to the signs of the coefficients this gives the following
types in nonhomogeneous form:
1. The oval type:
x 2 if z 2
(a) The imaginary ellipsoid, ~2+72+~2 == ~~l*
222
(6) The real ellipsoid,  + f 2 + ^= 1.
a" b 2 <f
X 2 if" 2 2
(c) The hyperboloid of two sheets, 2 ~ ^=1
a o ct
2. The saddle type:
2 .2 2
The hyperboloid of one sheet, ^+T^~~ ~^ = 1
or I c 2
II. Noncentral surfaces without singular points. Since the plane
at infinity can no longer be a face of a selfpolar tetrahedron, we
cannot use the method of 93. We will take the point of tangency
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 229
in the plane at infinity as B (0:0:1:0). Then g =f= c = and
n = 0. Take an arbitrary line through B. It meets the surface
in one other point A, which we take as 0:0:0:1. We then take
the tangent plane at A as 2 = 0. Then I = m d = 0, and the
equation of the surface is
z =Q. ,<
The tangent plane at A meets the plane at infinity in a line
( 2 =0, t = 0), which is the conjugate polar to the line AB (x = 0,
y = 0). The points C (0 :1: : 0) and D (1: : : 0) may be taken
as any two points on this line such that each lies in the polar
plane of the other. Then h = 0, and the equation of the surface is
reduced to
712 = 0.
According to the signs which occur we have two types :
1. The oval type:
x 2 if
The elliptic paraboloid, f ^= nz.
2. The saddle type:
x 2 y 2
The hyperbolic paraboloid, ^ = nz.
The discussion of surfaces with singular points presents no features
essentially different in Cartesian coordinates from those found in
the general case. If the surface has one singular point, it is a cone
if the singular point is not at infinity and is a cylinder if the sin
gular point is at infinity. If the surface has a line of singular
points, it consists of two intersecting or two parallel planes accord
ing as the singular line lies in finite space or at infinity. If the
surface has a plane of singular points, it consists of a plane doubly
counted, which may be the plane at infinity.
95. Surfaces of second order referred to rectangular axes. In the
previous section no hypotheses were made as to the angles at which
the coordinate planes intersected. For that reason the coordinate
planes leading to the simple forms of the equations could be chosen
in an infinite number of ways. We shall now ask whether, among
these planes, there exist a set in which the planes x = 0, y = 0,
and 2 = are mutually orthogonal.
230 THREEDIMENSIOHAL GEOMETRY
Consider first the central surfaces without singular points for
which I) = 0. The plane at infinity cuts this surface in the gen
eral conic ^ + ^ + ^ 2 + 2 ^ + 2 ffgx + 2 h xy = o, (1)
where x : y : z are homogeneous coordinates on the plane t = 0.
When the equation of the surface is referred to a selfpolar tetra
hedron of which the plane at infinity is one face, the curve (1) is
referred to a self polar triangle. If the axes in space are orthogonal,
the triangle must also be a selfpolar triangle (theorem V, 81)
to the circle at infinity
" A
ar=0. (2)
Our problem, therefore, is to find on the plane at infinity a triangle
which is self polar at the same time with respect to (1) and (2).
By 43 this can be done when and only when the curves (1)
and (2) intersect in four distinct points or are tangent in two
distinct points or are coincident.
In the first case there exists one and only one selfpolar triangle
common to (1) and (2), and therefore there exists only one set of
mutually orthogonal planes passing through the center of the quad
ric and such that by use of them as coordinate planes the equa
tion of the quadric becomes
ax*+ bf + cz 2 + d=Q. (a = b = c = 0)
These planes are the principal diametral planes of the quadric,
and their intersections are the principal axes.
In the second case there are an infinite number of planes through
the origin, such that by use of them as coordinate planes the equa
tion of the quadric becomes
a(a?+y a )+c a +cJ = 0. (a = c = 0)
Here the axis OZ is fixed, but the axes OX and Y are so far
indeterminate that they may be any two lines perpendicular to OZ
and to each other. The surface is a surface formed by revolving
the conic ax*+ cz* + d= 0, y = about OZ.
In the third case any set of mutually perpendicular planes through
the origin, if taken as coordinate planes, reduce the equation of the
quadric to the form
and the quadric is a sphere.
SURFACES OF SECOND OKDEK AND SECOND CLASS 231
It is to be noticed that if the coefficients in equation (2) are
real, one of the above cases necessarily occurs. For in this case
the solutions of equations (1) and (2) consist of imaginary points
which occur in pairs as complex imaginary points.
If we consider the noncentral quadrics without singular points
and use the notation of 94, we notice first that if the axes of
coordinates are rectangular, the point B cannot be on the circle at
infinity, since the line CD must be the polar of B with respect to
the circle at infinity. The point B being fixed by the quadric sur
face, the line CD is then fixed, and consequently the line AB, since
AB is the conjugate polar of CD with respect to the quadric. The
point A is then fixed and is called the vertex of the quadric.
The points C and D must now be taken as conjugate, both with
respect to the circle at infinity and with respect to the conic of inter
section of the quadric and the plane at infinity. If the two straight
lines into which this latter conic degenerates (cf. Ex. 1, 86) are
neither of them tangent to the circle at infinity, the points C and
D are uniquely fixed. If both of these lines are tangent to the cir
cle at infinity, the point C may be taken at pleasure on (7Z>, and D
is then fixed.
In the first case there is one tangent plane and two other planes
perpendicular to it and to each other, by the use of which the equa
tion of the quadric is reduced to the form
ax 2 + fy 2 = nz. (a = b)
In the second case there are an infinite number of mutually
orthogonal planes, one of which is a fixed tangent plane, by the
use of which the equation of the quadric is reduced to the form
and the quadric is a paraboloid of revolution.
In all other cases, namely, when the point of tangency of the
quadric with the plane at infinity is on the circle at infinity or
when the section of the quadric with the plane at infinity consists
of two straight lines, one and only one of which is tangent to the
circle at infinity, the equation of the surface cannot be reduced to
the above forms by the use of rectangular axes.
If the coefficients of the terms of the second order in the equation
of the quadric are real, the rectangular axes always exist.
232 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
EXERCISES
Examine the following surfaces for the existence of principal axes :
2. 2
3.
4. 2
5.
6. x*+ 2 foy  2/ 2  2 + 2z = 0.
7. xz + iys + aj = 0.
9. Examine the quadrics with singular points by the methods of
this section.
96. Rulings on surfaces of second order. We have seen (93)
that the equation of any surface of tjie second order without
singular points can be written as
#1 + # 2 4 ^3 + X \ (1)
if no distinction is made between reals and imaginaries or between
the plane at infinity and any other plane. This equation can be
written in either of the two forms
_ 2l ^ = ^^, =X) (2)
a"* 4 i 2
*i +
whence follows for any point on the surface
From these equations the following theorems are easily proved :
/. On a surface of second order without singular points lie two
families of straight lines, one defined by equations (2) and the other
by equations (3).
For if X is given any constant value in (2) the equations
represent a straight line every point of which satisfies equation (1).
Similarly, ^ may be given a constant value in (3). The straight
lines (2) and (3) are called generators.
\
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 233
//. Through each point of the surface goes one and only one line
of each family.
For any point x i of the surface determines X and p uniquely.
///. Each line of one family intersects each line of the other family.
For any pair of values of X and //. leads to the solution (4).
IV. No two lines of the same family intersect.
This is a corollary to theorem II.
V. A tangent plane at any point of the surface intersects the sur
face in the two generators through that point.
For the two generators are tangents and hence lie in the tangent
plane. But the intersection of the tangent plane with the surface
is a curve of second order unless the plane lies entirely on the
surface, which is impossible since the surface has no singular points.
Hence the section consists of the two generators.
VI. The surface contains no other straight lines than the generators.
For if there were another line the tangent plane at any point
of the line would contain it, which is impossible by theorem V.
VII. Any plane through a generator intersects the surface also in
a generator of the other family and is tangent to the surface at the
point of intersection of the two generators.
Consider a plane through a generator g. Its intersection with
the surface is a curve of second order of which one part is known
to be g. The remaining part must also be a straight line h, which
is a generator by theorem VI. Since h and g are in the same plane
they intersect and hence belong to different families by theorem IV.
The tangent plane at the intersection of h and g contains these
lines by theorem V and hence coincides with the original plane.
VIII. If two pencils of planes with their axes generators of the
same family are brought into a onetoone correspondence so that two
corresponding planes intersect in a generator of the other family, the
relation is protective.
Let the axes of the two pencils be taken as 2^=0, x 2 and
x s = 0, x 4 = respectively. Since these lines lie on the surface, the
equation of the surface has the form
234 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The equations of planes of the first pencil are
Xl +\x 9 =Q
and those of the second are
X S + ^4 =
If two such planes intersect on the surface, we have
which proves the theorem.
IX. The intersections of the corresponding planes of two protective
pencils of planes with nonintersecting axes generate a surface of second
order which contains the two axes of the pencils.
Let the two pencils be 0^+ \% 2 = and 3 + /t# 4 = 0, where the
protective relation is expressed by X =  
7/* + S
Then if a point is common to two corresponding planes, it
satisfies the equation
72:^+ axjc z  Bx t x 4  fa 2 z 4 = 0,
which is also satisfied by the axes of the pencils.
X. (Dualistic to VIII.) Lines of one family of generators cut out
projective ranges on any two lines of the other family.
As in the proof of theorem VIII, let 2^== 0, x 2 be a generator
of the surface and let # 3 = 0, x 4 = be another generator of the
same family. The equation of the surface is then
and the generators of the second family are
A generator of this family meets ^=0, % 2 = in the point where
2? 8 : x^ = c 4 + (? 2 \ : <? 3 CjX and meets x s = 0, x 4 = where x l : x 2 = X : 1.
The relation is evidently projective.
XI. (Dualistic to X.) The lines which connect corresponding points
of two projective ranges with nonintersecting bases lie on a surface
of second order.
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 235
Let one range be taken on ^=0, # 2 = and the other on x s = 0,
x 4 =Q. Then the points of the two ranges are given on each base
by the equations x z +\x^= and 2^+ /A# 2 = 0. Let the protective
relation be expressed by X =  
7/* + S
From these it is easy to compute that the coordinates of any point
on the line connecting two corresponding points of the two ranges
satisfy the equation
t 0.
EXERCISES
1. Distinguish between the cases in which the generators are real or
imaginary, assuming that the equation of the quadric is real.
2. What are the generators of a sphere ?
3. Distinguish between a central quadric and a noncentral one by
showing that for the latter type the generators are parallel to a plane
and for the former they are not.
97. Surfaces of second class. Consider the equation
]4^ t =0, (A k; =A ik ) (1)
in plane coordinates. This is a special case of the equation dis
cussed in 88. Equations (3), 88, which determine the limit
points, become
px i = A il u l + A i ,u. 2 {A i3 u 3 + A i ,u,, (i = l, 2, 3, 4) (2)
and equations (5), 88, which define the singular planes, become
4 1 M 1 + 4 2 w a + 4 3 tt3 + 4 4 M4=  (* =1 2 3 4 )
If we now place
A =
A n
we have to distinguish four cases.
I. A^=0. Equations (2) have then a single solution for w t : u 2 :u s : u^
which, if substituted in (1), gives the equation of the surface en
veloped by the extent of planes. This equation may be more con
veniently obtained by replacing (1) by the equation
236
THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
obtained from (1) by the help of (2). The elimination of u t then
gives
A Vi A 22
A
A \Z A 1Z A 33 ^34 X S
= 0,
(5)
which is the equation of a surface of second order.
Under the hypothesis A^ equations (3) have no solution, so
that in this case no singular plane exists. ^ It is not difficult to
show that the discriminant of equation (^) does not vanish. 
We have, accordingly, the following result: A plane extent of
second class with nonvanisJiing discriminant consists of planes envelop
ing a surface of second order without singular points.
This theorem may be otherwise expressed as follows : A surface
of second class without singular planes is also a surface of second order
without singular points.
II. A = 0, but not all the first minors are zero. Equations (3) now
have one and only one solution, so that the extent (1) has one and
only one singular plane. Let it be taken as the plane 0:0:0:1.
Then A u = A u = A M = A 4t =Oj and equation (1) takes the form
A n u? h A^ul + A^ul + 2 A^u^ + 2 A 1B UjU B + 2 A 2S u 2 u s = 0, (6)
where the determinant
11
[ 12 4.
^12 ^22 ^23
4. ^,3 ^33
does not vanish owing to the hypothesis that not all the first
minors of the discriminant (4) vanish.
The elimination of u { from equations (2) and equation (6)
gives, then,
, A U x i
A /y
I A 33 X 3
x.
which are the equations of a nondegenerate conic in the plane
z 4 =0.
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 237
We have, accordingly, the result : A plane extent of second class
with one singular plane consists of planes which are tangent to a non
degenerate conic lying in the singular plane.
The equation of the plane extent may be considered the equa
tion of this conic in plane coordinates.
III. A= 0, all the first minors are zero, but not all the second
minors are zero. Equations (3) now contain only two independent
equations and hence the extent contains a pencil of singular planes.
If this pencil is taken as u^ 0, u 2 = 0, the equation of the extent
4X + 2 A l2 u^ + ^X =0, (7)
where the determinant A U A M A^ does not vanish because of the
hypothesis that not all the second minors of the discriminant (4)
vanish.
Equation (7) factors into two distinct linear factors and hence
the plane extent consists of two bundles of planes. The elimina
tion of u { between equations (2) and (7) gives
which define the vertices of the two bundles.
We have, accordingly, the result : A plane extent of second class
with a pencil of singular planes consists of two bundles of planes, the
singular pencil being the pencil common to the two bundles.
IV. A= 0, all the first and second minors are zero, but not all
the third minors are zero. Equations (3) contain only one inde
pendent equation and hence the plane extent contains a bundle of
singular planes. If this bundle is taken as u l = 0, the equation of
the extent becomes
where A n cannot be zero because of the hypothesis that not all
third minors of (4) are zero.
Hence we have the result : A plane extent of second class with a
bundle of singular planes consists of that bundle doubly reckoned.
It may be noticed that the elimination of u { between equations
(2) and (8) gives the meaningless result x^: x z : x 8 : x = : : : 0.
238 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
98. Poles and polars. The relation between poles and polars may
be established by means of plane coordinates as well as by point
coordinates. We shall define the pole of a plane v t with respect to
the extent (1), 97, as the point the coordinates of which are
px t = A^l A { . 2 v 2 + A i3 v s + A^v 4 . (i = 1, 2, 3, 4)
For the case in which A = the relation between pole and polar
is the same as that defined in 92, as the student may easily prove.
In the cases in which A = the polar relation is something new.
The following theorems dualistic to those of 92 are obvious or
easily proved :
I. If a plane belongs to the extent its pole is the limit point in the
plane.
II. To any plane not a singular plane of the extent corresponds a
unique pole.
III. To any point corresponds a unique polar when and only when
the plane extent has no singular plane.
IV. A pole lies in its polar plane when and only ivhen the polar
plane belongs to the extent.
V. The pole of any plane lies in all singular planes when such exist.
VI. If a plane p passes through the pole of a plane q, then q passes
through the pole of p.
VII. All limit points lying in a plane p are the limit points of planes
of the extent which pass through the polar of p.
VIII. For a surface of second class without singular planes it is pos
sible in an infinite number of ways to construct selfpolar tetrahedrons.
IX. If a line m lies in a plane p, and r and s are the planes of the
extent which pass through m, and q is the plane through m and the
pole of p, then p and q are harmonic conjugates to r and s.
99. Classification of surfaces of the second class. The previous
sections enable us to write the simplest forms to which the equa
tion of a surface of the second class may be reduced.
I. A = 0. Since the planes envelop a surface of type I, 93,
we may take the results of that section and find the plane equation
corresponding to each type there. Consequently, if no account is
taken of real values the equation of the plane extent may be
written as ? + +*. += 0.
SURFACES OF SECOND ORDER AND SECOND CLASS 239
If the coefficients in the original equation are real and the origi
nal coordinates are also real, then, by a real change of coordinates,
the equation takes one or another of the forms
ul f ul + ul 4 ul = 0,
II. A = 0, but not all the first minors are zero. We have already
obtained equation (6), 97, as a possible equation in this case.
If no account is taken of reals this equation can be reduced to
the form
In the domain of reals there are two types :
1. Planes tangent to a real plane curve
2. Planes tangent to an imaginary plane curve
<+<+<=0.
III. A = 0, all the first minors are zero but not all the second
minors are zero. As shown in 97, the equation can be reduced
to the single type ^ + ^ = Q
if no account is taken of reals, and to the following two types in
the domain of reals :
1. Two real bundles of planes
u*u2=0.
2. Two imaginary bundles of planes
tt>+ic*sO.
IV. A = 0, all the first and second minors are zero. As shown
in 97, there is here only one type of equation,
<=o,
representing a double bundle of planes.
CHAPTER XIV
TRANSFORMATIONS
100. Collineations. A collineation in space is a point transforma
tion expressed by the equations
px f 2 =
We shall consider only the case in which the determinant \a ik \
is not zero, these being the nonsingular collineations. Then to any
point x { corresponds a point x(, for the righthand members of (1)
cannot simultaneously vanish. Also to any point x[ corresponds
a point x i given by the equations obtained by solving (1),
(7x i = A u x[ + A 2i x 2 + A si x a + AI& , (2)
where, as usual, A ik is the cofactor of a ik in the expansion of the
determinant %.
By means of (1) any point which lies on a plane with coordi
nates u { is transformed into a point which lies on a plane with
coordinates w, where
t (3)
and <ju = +
The following theorems, similar to those of 40, may be proved
by the same methods there employed.
/. By a nonsingular collineation points, planes, and straight lines
are transformed into points, planes, and straight lines respectively in
a onetoone manner.
II. The nonsingular collineations form a group.
III. If P l , P 2 , P%, PI, and P b are five arbitrarily assumed points no
four of which lie in the same plane, and 1^, P 2 , P%, P, and P^ are also
240
TRANSFORMATIONS 241
five arbitrarily assumed points no four of which lie in the same plane,
there exists one and only one collineation by means of which P^ is trans
formed into Pj, P 2 into P 2 , P s into P s f , P into JJ , and P b into P 5 r .
IV. A nonsingular collineation establishes a projectivity between the
points of two corresponding ranges or the planes of two corresponding
pencils, and any such projectivity may be established in an infinite
number of ways by a nonsingular collineation.
V. Any two planes which correspond by means of a nonsingular
collineation are protectively transformed into each other.
101. Types of nonsingular collineations. A collineation has a
fixed point when x[= x { in the equations (1), 100. Fixed points
are therefore given by the equations
a * x i + ^2 + Va + <>44  P) x = 
The necessary and sufficient conditions that these equations
have a solution is that p satisfies the equation
Similar conditions hold for the fixed planes. By reasoning
analogous to that used in 41 we may establish the results :
Every collineation has as many distinct fixed planes as fixed points,
as many pencils of fixed planes as lines of fixed points, and as many
bundles of fixed planes as planes of fixed points.
In every fixed plane lie at least one fixed point and one fixed line,
through every fixed line goes at least one fixed plane, on every fixed
line lies at least one fixed point, through every fixed point go at least
one fixed line and one fixed plane.
With the aid of these theorems we may now classify the
collineations. For brevity we shall omit much of the details of the
work, which is similar to that of 41.* In the following equations
* As in 41, the use of Weierstrass s elementary divisors would simplify the work.
See footnote, p. 86.
242 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the letters a, b, c, d represent quantities which are distinct from
each other and from zero.
A. At least four distinct fixed points not in the same plane. The
four points may be taken as the vertices of the tetrahedron of
reference A BCD (see Fig. 52, 82). We have, then, the following
types :
TYPE I. px( = ax v
The collineation has the isolated fixed points A, B, C, D, and the
isolated fixed planes ABC, BCD, CD A, DAB.
TYPE II. px( = ax r
px f 2 = ax 2 ,
px s = cx s ,
px( = dx.
The collineation has the isolated fixed points A, B, the line of
fixed points CD, the isolated fixed planes ACD, BCD, and the
pencil of fixed planes with axis AB.
TYPE III. px l = ax v
px = ex,.
The collineation has the two lines of fixed points AB, CD and
the two pencils of fixed planes with the axes AB, CD.
TYPE IV. px( = ctXf
P4 = ax *
px z = ax s ,
px( = dx 4 .
The collineation has the isolated fixed point A, the plane of
fixed points BCD, the isolated fixed plane BCD, and the bundle of
fixed planes with vertex A.
TRANSFORMATIONS 243
TYPE V. px( = a,Xf
px f 2 = ax z ,
All points and planes are fixed. It is the identical transformation.
B. At least three distinct fixed points not in the same straight line and
no others not in the same plane. The fixed points may be taken as the
points A, B, D. There are three fixed planes, one of which is ABD,
and the others must intersect ABD in one of the three fixed lines
AB, CD, DA. We may take one of these planes as DBC(x^= 0).
Then in that plane we have a collineation in which B and D are
the only fixed points. By proper choice of the vertex C the collinea
tions in the plane # 4 = may be given the forms found in 41.
Hence for the space collineations we find the following types :
TYPE VI. px[ = ax l + x 2 ,
The collineation has the isolated fixed points A, B, D and the
isolated fixed planes ABD, ADC, BCD.
TYPE VII. px[ = ax l + x 2 ,
The collineation has an isolated fixed point D, a line of fixed
points AB, the isolated fixed plane ABD, and the pencil of fixed
planes with the axis CD.
TYPE VIII. px( = ax l + x 2 ,
px[ = dx^.
The collineation has the isolated fixed point A, the line of fixed
points BD, the isolated fixed plane BCD, and the pencil of fixed
planes with the vertex AD.
244 THEEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Type VIII is distinguished geometrically from Type VII by the
fact that in Type VIII the line of fixed points intersects the axis
of the pencil of fixed planes and in Type VII this is not the case.
TYPE IX. px( = ax l + x^
p4 = ax ?
P4 = ax sJ
px[ = ax 4 .
The collineation has the plane of fixed points ABD and the
bundle of fixed planes with vertex D.
C. At least two distinct fixed points and no others not in the same
straight line. The fixed points may be taken as B and D. There
must be two distinct fixed planes of which one must pass through
BD and the other may. There are two subcases each leading to
two types of collineations.
1. If both fixed planes pass through BD they may be taken as
x z = and x^= 0. Then in each of these planes we have a collineation
of Type IV or Type V of 41. By proper choice of the points A and
C we have, accordingly, the following types of space collineations :
TYPE X. px[ = ax l + x^
P4 = *v
px 3 = bx s + x^
rt= K
The collineation has the isolated fixed points B, D and the isolated
fixed planes ABD, BCD.
TYPE XI. px[ = ax l + x 2 ,
px 2 = ax^
The collineation has the line of fixed points BD and the pencil
of fixed planes with the axis BD.
2. If only one of the fixed planes passes through BD the other
must contain one of the fixed points B or D. In this case we may
TRANSFORMATIONS 245
take the two fixed planes as x 4 = and # 3 = 0. Then in the plane
BCD we have a collineation of Type IV or Type V of 41 and
in ABD one of Type VI of 41. By proper choice of the points
C and A, therefore, we have the following types :
TYPE XII. px(=ax l + x v
px 2 = ax 2 + x
px( = bx 3 ,
px 4 = ax,.
The collineation has the fixed points B, D and the fixed planes
BCD, ADC.
TYPE XIII. x=ax + x.,
The collineation has the line of fixed points BD and the pencil
of fixed planes with the axis DC.
D. Only one fixed point. The fixed point may be taken as D.
The fixed plane which must exist may be taken as x 4 = 0. Then
in that plane the collineation is of Type VI, 41, and the points
C and B may be so chosen that the equations take the form of
Type VI there given. To do this we first select x a = Q, x 4 =0 as the
fixed line in the plang x 4 = 0. The point A may be taken as any
point outside of # 4 = (^, If A is the point into which A is trans
formed, the line A A may be taken as x^ 0, x^= 0. This fixes the
point B. Then C is determined, as in Type VI, 41. The result
is the following type:
TYPE XIV. px[=ax 1 + x zr
px(= ax,.
The above types exhaust the cases of a nonsingular collineation.
In a singular collineation there exist exceptional points, lines, or
planes. The discussion of these is left to the student.
246 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Considering the translation
x =x + a, y =y + b, z =z + c
as a collineation, determine its fixed points and the type to which it
belongs.
2. Considering the rotation
x = x cos <j> y sin <, ?/ = x sin< + y cos <, =
as a collineation, determine its fixed points and the type to which it
belongs.
3. Considering the screw motion
x = x cos (f> y sin <, y = x sin <j> + y cos <, z =kz
as a collineation, determine its fixed points and the type to which it
belongs.
4. Set up the formulas for the singular collineation known as
" painter s perspective," by which any point P is transformed into that
point of a fixed plane p in which the line through P and a fixed point
meets p.
5. Find all possible types of nonsingular collineations.
102. Correlations. A correlation of point and plane in space is
defined by the equations
pu( = a {l x^ + a i2 x. 2 + a. B x s + a i4 x , ( = 1,2, 3, 4) (1)
where u { are plane coordinates and x i are point coordinates. The
correlation is nonsingular when %^ 0, and we shall consider only
such correlations. Then any point x i is transformed into a definite
plane w t , and any plane u\ is the transformed element of a definite
point, so that the correspondence of an element and its transformed
element is onetoone. The points x i which lie on a plane with
coordinates u { are transformed into planes u[ which pass through a
point xL where ~ N
px\= A^ + A i2 u z + A i3 u s + A^, (^)
where A ik is the cof actor of % in the determinant  a ik . We may
say, therefore, that the plane u { is transformed into the point x[.
Points which lie on a line I are transformed into planes through a
line Z , so that we may say that the line I is transformed into the
line I .
TRANSFORMATIONS 247
If the point P(x^) is transformed into the plane p (u{), then, by the
same operation, the plane p f is transformed into the point P"(#"),
where, from (2),
px( = 4X + 4X + 4X + 4X
The last equations solved for u[ give
pu\ = a^xC + 2 ,4 + a si x s + a 4i arj  (4)
The points x f and rrj are in general distinct. That they should
coincide it is necessary and sufficient, as is seen by comparison
of (1) and (4), that
J X i + Oia  /^2i) x * + Oia  PV) ^3 + Ou ~ ? a 4i) *4 =
where p must satisfy the condition
W a* a* ~ ^ ^
U ~~ ^^14 ^43 "" /^24 ^43 "" ^34 ^44 ~~ ^44
in order that equations (5) may have a solution.
When the coordinates of a point P satisfy equations (5), it and
the plane p\ into which it is transformed, form a double pair of the
correlation. Since (6) is of the fourth degree we see that in general
a correlation has four double pairs, but may have more.
The double pairs may be made the basis of a classification of
correlations, as was done in the case of the plane, but we will not
take the space to do so. Of special interest is the case in which each
point of space is a point of a double pair. For this it is necessary
and sufficient that equations (5) should be satisfied for all values
of x. This can happen in only two cases :
1. p = l j a ki = a ;k . 2. p =  1, ..= 0, a ki =  a ik .
In the first case the correlation is evidently a polarity with
respect to the conic ^^/^ t ^ 0, and by proper choice of coordi
nates it may be represented by the equations
248 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In the second case the correlation has the form
and represents a null system, which will be discussed later. It will
be shown that by choice of axes the correlation may be reduced
to the standard form
_
Another question of interest is to determine the condition under
which a point P lies in the plane p , into which it is transformed.
From equations (1) it follows at once that the coordinates of P
must satisfy the equation
This equation is satisfied identically only in the case of the null
system ; otherwise it determines a quadric surface K^ the locus of
the points P which lie in their respective transformed planes.
Similarly, the planes p which pass through their respective trans
formed points envelop the quadric K^
which is in general distinct from K^
EXERCISES
1. Prove that if P and p are a double pair the plane p is the polar
plane of P with respect to the conic K^
2. Prove that a correlation is an involutory transformation only in
the case of a polarity or a null system.
3. Explain why there is no analog of the null system in plane
geometry.
4. Prove that any correlation is the product of a collineation and a
polarity.
TRANSFORMATIONS 249
103. The projective and the metrical groups. The product of
two nonsingular collineations or of two nonsingular correlations
is a nonsingular collineation. Hence the totality of all collineations
and correlations form a group, since this totality contains the
identical substitution. Projective geometry may be defined as that
geometry which is concerned with the properties of figures which
are invariant under the projective group. In this geometry the
plane at infinity has no unique property distinct from those of
other planes nor is the imaginary circle at infinity essentially
different from any other conic, and all questions of measurement
disappear. Quadric surfaces are distinguished only by the presence
and nature of their singular points.
Subgroups exist in great abundance in the group of projections.
For example, the collineations taken without the correlations form
a subgroup, but the correlations alone form no group. All colline
ations with the same fixed points obviously form a subgroup.
Again, all collineations which leave a given quadric surface inva
riant form a subgroup. Of great importance among these latter
is the group which leaves the imaginary circle at infinity invariant.
This is the metrical group, which leaves angles invariant and multi
plies all distances by the same constant.
The general form of a transformation of the metrical group is
px r = l^x + mjj + n
pz = l z
pt = f,
where the coefficients satisfy the conditions
I? + y + *3 2 = < + < + ml = n* + n* + w, a , (2)
l^ + I 2 m 2 + l s m s = m^ + mri z + w 8 w g = n^ + n^ + n^ = 0. (3)
It is easy to see that the distance between two transformed
points is by this transformation k times the distance between the
original points, where k 2 is the common value of the expressions
in (2), and, conversely, that a collineation which multiplies all
distances by the same constant is of the form (1). The preser
vation of angles follows from elementary theorems on similar
triangles.
250 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
All transformations of the metrical group which leave a plane p
fixed form a group of collineations in that plane by which the
circular points at infinity are invariant. This group is therefore
the metrical group in p, and the projective definitions of angle
and distance given in 50 stand.
EXERCISES
1. If D is the determinant of the coefficients I, m, n in (1), show that
D = k s .
2. Show that the necessary and sufficient condition that (1) should
represent a mechanical motion is that D = j 1, and that it should repre
sent a motion comhined with a reflection on any plane is that D = 1.
3. Show that if D = 1 in addition to conditions (2) and (3), we have
1} + mf + n? = II + ml + n} = Ij + mj + n} = 1,
IJt 4 w^ + n^ = I 2 l s 4 ra 2 ra 3 + nji s = l^ + m^ + n^ = 0.
104. Projective geometry on a quadric surface. It has already
been noted (69) that the geometry on a surface of second order
with the use of quadriplanar coordinates is dualistic to the geom
etry on the plane with the use of tetracyclical coordinates. For in
each case we have a point defined by the ratios of four quantities
x \"> x v x ^ x ^ bound by a quadratic relation
(*)=0, (1)
which is, on the one hand, the equation of the quadric surface
and, on the other hand, the fundamental relation connecting the
tetracyclical coordinates.
Any point / on the quadric surface may be taken as correspond
ing to the point at infinity on the plane, since the point at infinity
is in no way special in the analysis. Any linear equation
2><*,= (2)
represents a plane section of the surface or a circle on the plane.
Should the section pass through /, the circle on the plane becomes
a straight line, but circles and straight lines have no analytic
distinction in this geometry.
If y i is a point on the quadric surface and we have, in (2),
(3)
TRANSFORMATIONS 251
the plane (2) is tangent to the surface, and the circle on the plane
is a point circle. The point of tangency on the surface corresponds
to the center of the point circle on the plane. The intersection of
the tangent plane with the quadric surface consists of two gen
erators. In a corresponding manner the point circle on the plane
consists of two onedimensional extents. Neither alone, however,
can be represented by a linear equation in a;., and therefore they
are not straight lines on the plane. If this is obscure it is to be
remembered that imaginary straight lines are not defined by any
geometric property, but by an analytic equation.
The intersection with the quadric surface of the tangent plane
at / corresponds to the locus at infinity on the plane.
The center y i of a point circle on the plane, or the point of tan
gency of a tangent plane to the surface, is found by solving (3)
for y r The values of y i must satisfy (1), and the substitution
gives the equation ^ (fl) = Qj (4)
which is the condition that a circle on the plane with tetracyclical
coordinates should be a point circle, or that a plane in space should
be tangent to the point circle. It is in fact simply the equation in
plane coordinates of the quadric surface (1).
Two circles on the plane are perpendicular when
2 = l (,*) = <>. . (5)
In space the pole of the plane ^a^= with respect to the sur
o
face with the plane equation (4) is ft^jpj and equation (5) is
the condition that this pole lie in the plane ]T^= 0. Hence two
orthogonal circles on the plane with tetracyclical coordinates cor
respond to two plane sections of the quadric surface such that
each plane contains the pole of the other.
A linear substitution of the tetracyclical coordinates corresponds
to a collineation in space which leaves the quadric surface invariant.
The geometry of inversion on the plane is therefore dualistic to the
geometry on the quadric surface which is invariant with respect to
collineations which leave the surface unchanged. Two points on
the plane which are inverse with respect to a circle C correspond
to two points on the quadric surface such that any plane through
252 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
them passes through the pole of the plane corresponding to C or,
in other words, such that the line connecting them passes through
the pole of the plane corresponding to C. Since the center of a
circle on the plane is the inverse of the point at infinity with
respect to that circle, the point on the quadric which corresponds
to the center of a circle may be found by connecting the point /
with the pole of the plane corresponding to the circle.
An inversion with respect to a circle corresponds in space to a
collineation which transforms each point into its inverse with
respect to a fixed plane. That is, if the fixed circle corresponds to
the intersection of the quadric with a plane M, and K is the pole
of M, an inversion with respect to M transforms any point P on
the quadric into the point P^ where the line KP^ again meets the
quadric. The collineation which carries out this transformation
has the plane M as a plane of fixed points and the point K as a
point of fixed planes.
Consider now the parameters (X, fi) on the surface, defined as in
96. They may be taken as the coordinates of a point on the sur
face and may be interpreted dualistically to the special coordinates
of 70. The two families of generators are then dualistic to the two
systems of special lines of 70, and the locus at infinity on the plane
is dualistic to the generators through the point / of the surface.
The bilinear equation
d^X/i + a 2 \ + a 8 /Lt + a^ = (6)
represents a plane section of the quadric surface and is dualistic
to the equilateral hyperbola on the plane with two special lines as
asymptotes. A section of the quadric surface through / corresponds
to an ordinary line on the plane, from which it is evident that by
the use of the special coordinates the straight line has the properties
of the equilateral hyperbola.
Any collineation of space which leaves the quadric surface inva
riant gives a linear transformation of X and of /JL. This is evident
from the fact that the collineation must transform the lines of the
surface into themselves in a onetoone manner. It may also be
proved analytically from the relations of 96.
Conversely, any linear substitution of X and /u. corresponds to a
collineation which leaves the quadric invariant.
TRANSFORMATIONS 253
Consider in fact the substitution
which leaves the generators of the second family fixed and trans
forms the generators of the first family. From (4), 96, it is easy
to compute that this is equivalent to the collineation
px, = (a + 8X + i(a  8X+ (7  Xs id/3 +
8
= (!3  7X * ( + 7X + 0*
^ 4 = t
Similar results can be obtained for the transformation
by which the generators of the first family are fixed, and for the
product of (7) and (9).
Finally, the collineation corresponding to the transformation
 
by which generators of the two families are interchanged, is easily
computed.
EXERCISES
1. Show that if the quadric (1), 96, is the sphere x 2 + if + = 1,
the transformation X = e *X , //, = e**/* represents a rotation of the sphere
about the axis OZ through an angle <.
2. Show that the transformation A.= /x f , /JL=\ replaces each
point of the sphere of Ex. 1 by its diametrically opposite point.
3. Obtain a transformation of X, p which represents a general rota
tion of the sphere in Ex. 1 about any axis through its center.
105. Protective measurement. The definition of projective meas
urement, given in 47 for the plane, can evidently be generalized for
space, and only a concise statement of essentials is necessary here.
Let o>(a;)=0 (1)
be the equation of any quadric surface taken as the fundamental
quadric for the measurement, and let
n<=o (2)
be the equation of the same surface in plane coordinates.
254 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If A and B are any two points and T l and T 2 are the points in
which the line AB meets the quadric, then the distance D between
A and B is defined by the equation
or if y i and z. are the coordinates of A and B respectively,
OOi
(y. *)  [ (y, *)] 2  [
Also, if a and b are two planes and ^ and 2 are the two tan
gent planes to the quadric through the intersection of a and 5, the
angle < between a and b is defined by the equation
=
where w t  and v. are the coordinates of a and 5 respectively.
Two planes are perpendicular if each passes through the pole of
the other ; for, in (4), if fl (u, v) = 0, then <j> = l  log ( 1) =  + mr.
A A.
A line is perpendicular to a plane p if every plane through the
line is perpendicular to p ; that is, if the line passes through the
pole of p.
We may define the angle between two lines in the same plane
as the angle between the two planes through the lines and perpen
dicular to the plane of the lines. That is the same as defining the
y
angle between the two lines as  times the logarithm of the cross
ratio of the two lines and the two tangent lines drawn in their plane
to the quadric surface.
Any plane cuts the quadric surface in a conic, and the definition
of angle and distance is the same as in the projective measurement
of 47, in which this conic is the fundamental one. Projective
plane measurement is therefore obtained by a plane section of
projective space measurement.
As in Chapter VII we have three cases :
I. The hyperbolic case. The fundamental quadric is real, and we
consider only the space inside of it. The geometry in the plane is
the same as in 48.
TRANSFORMATIONS 255
II. The elliptic case. The fundamental quadric is imaginary.
The geometry in the plane is the same as in 49.
III. The parabolic case. The fundamental quadric in plane coor
dinates may be taken as
which is that of a plane extent consisting of planes tangent to a
conic in the plane # 4 = 0. If this conic is the circle at infinity, the
measurement becomes Euclidean.
If the conic is a real circle at infinity, for example the circle
we have a measurement in which
and the angle between the two planes
ax + by + cz + di=Q and a x + b y f c z + d t =
aa +W cc
is given by cos 6 = .
O / / rt 7 n
Through any point in space goes a real cone, such that the dis
tances from its vertex to points inside it are imaginary, distances
from its vertex to points outside it are real, and distances from its
vertex to points on it are zero. Any plane section through the
vertex is divided into regions with the properties described in 50.
106. Clifford parallels. When a system of projective measure
ment has been established, the concept of parallel lines may be
introduced by adopting some property of parallel lines in Euclidean
geometry as a definition. Perhaps the most obvious as well as the
most common definition is that parallel lines are those which in
tersect at infinity. By this definition, in parabolic space one and
only one line can be drawn through a point parallel to a given line,
in hyperbolic space two such parallels can be drawn, and in elliptic
space no real parallel can be drawn.
In elliptic space, however, there exist certain real lines called
Clifford parallels which have other properties of parallel lines as they
exist in Euclidean space. We will proceed to discuss these lines.
We have seen that any linear transformation of the parameters
X and /JL which define a point on a quadric surface correspond to
256 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
a collineation which leaves the quadric invariant. Among these
transformations are those of the type
><
which transform the generators of the first family among themselves
but leave each generator of the second family unchanged.
For reasons to be given later we call such a transformation a
translation of the first kind.
Similarly, the transformation
. . , mp +.n , ON
X = X , fi = ^ , (2)
Pff+t
by which the generators of the second family are transformed but
each of the first family is left unchanged, is called a translation of
the second kind.
Consider a translation of the first kind. On the fundamental
quadric any generator of the second family is left unchanged as a
whole, but its individual points are transformed, except two fixed
points, for which _ aX+ff
 7 x + s*
This equation defines two generators of the first kind, all of
whose points are fixed. Hence, in a translation of the first kind there
are, in general, two generators of the first kind which are fixed point
by point. We say "in general" because it is possible that the two
roots of (3) may be equal.
Call the two fixed generators g and h. Then any line which in
tersects g and h is fixed, since two of its points are fixed. Also
through any point P in space one and only one line can be drawn
intersecting g and h. Therefore, any point P is transformed into
another point on the line which passes through P and intersects g and h.
Since we are dealing with a case of elliptic measurement the lines
g and h are imaginary. Then, if a real point P is transformed into
another real point, the roots of (3) must be conjugate imaginary,
since a real line intersects an imaginary quadric whose equation has
real .coefficients in conjugate imaginary points corresponding to con
jugate imaginary values of X and p. Therefore, if a translation of the
first kind transforms real points into real points, there must be two dis
tinct fixed generators corresponding to conjugate imaginary values of X.
TBANSFORMATIONS 257
This may also be established by equations (8), 104. That these
may represent a real substitution 8 must be conjugate imaginary to
#, and 7 conjugate imaginary to /3. We therefore place a = d 4 ic,
B = d ic, fi = b 4 ia, 7 = 64 ia, and have
px^ = dx( cx 2 4 bx f s 4 ^ ,
px, = cx( 4 dx[ ax z 4 ^1 ,
/o^ 3 = fa J 4 ax 2 4 ^3 4 raj ,
px = ax[ bx . 2 cx r 3 4 dx[.
With these values of #, /8, 7, and 8 the roots of (3) are conjugate
imaginary.
To find the projective distance between a point x i and its trans
formed point x[, we use equations (4) and substitute in (3), 105,
placing K= There results
d
D =  log = cos"
which is a constant. Hence, by a translation of the first kind each
point of space is moved through a constant projective distance on the
straight line which passes through the point and meets the two fixed
generators on the fundamental quadric.
It is this property which gives to the transformation the name
" translation " and to the lines which intersect the two fixed gen
erators the name " parallels." By the transformation the points of
space are moved along the Clifford parallels in a manner analo
gous to that in which points are moved along Euclidean parallels
by a Euclidean translation.
In the projective space a dualistic property exists. Since the
Clifford parallels are fixed, any plane through one of them is trans
formed into another plane through it. Now any plane contains one
Clifford parallel, since it intersects each of the fixed generators in
one point. If u. and u[ are the original and the transformed plane
respectively, the angle between them is, by (4), 105,
258 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Hence, by a translation of the first kind each plane of space is turned
about the Clifford parallel in it through a constant angle which is equal
to the distance through which points of the space are moved.
Similar theorems hold for translations of the second kind. The
two kinds of translations differ, however, in the sense in which the
turning of the planes takes place.
By a translation of the second kind Clifford parallels of the first
kind are transformed into themselves. For by the translation of
the second kind all generators of the first kind are fixed, and conse
quently any line intersecting two such generators is transformed into
a line intersecting the same two generators. Hence two Clifford
parallels are everywhere equidistant if the distance is measured on
Clifford parallels of the other kind.
Let LK and MN be two Clifford parallels of the first kind, g
and h the two fixed generators which determine the parallels, and
PQ any line intersecting both LK and MN. The line PQ intersects
two generators g f and h of the second kind and is therefore one
of a set of Clifford parallels of the second kind. Therefore there
exists a transformation of the second kind by which PQ is fixed
and LK is transformed into MN, P falling on Q. Hence the
angles under which PQ cuts LK and JOT are equal, of course in
the projective sense. That is, if a line cuts two Clifford parallels,
the corresponding angles are equal.
In particular the line may be so drawn as to make the angle
LPQ a right angle. For if Q is on MN, the point Q and the line
LK determine a plane p, and in this plane a perpendicular can be
drawn from Q to LK. To do this it is only necessary to connect Q
with the point in which the plane p is met by the reciprocal polar
of LK with respect to the quadric surface.
Hence, from any point in one of two Clifford parallels a common
perpendicular can be drawn to the two, and the portion of the perpen
dicular included between the two parallels is of constant length.
107. Contact transformations. A transformation in space, expres
sible by means of analytic relations between the coordinates of
points, may be of three kinds according as points are transformed
into points, surfaces, or curves respectively. We shall find it con
venient to employ Cartesian coordinates in discussing these trans
formations and to introduce the concept of a plane element.
TRANSFORMATIONS 259
Let (#, y, z) be a point in space and let Z z =p(Xx) + q(Y y)
be a plane through it. Then the five variables (#, y, z, p, q) define
a plane element, which may be visualized as an infinitesimal portion
of a plane surrounding a point. In fact, not the magnitude of the
plane but simply its orientation comes into question, just as, in
fixing a point, position and not magnitude is considered. If any
one of the five elements is complex, then the plane element is
simply a name for the set of variables (x, y, z, p, q).
Since the five variables are independent, there are oo 5 plane ele
ments in space. Of chief interest, however, are twodimensional
extents of plane elements. Such an extent we shall denote by M 2
and shall consider three types:
1. Let the points of the plane elements be taken in the surface
z =f(x, y) and let p and q be determined by the equations
3 ^
p = > q =  More generally, let #, y, and z be defined as
ex cy
functions of two variables u and v, and let p and q be determined
by the equation .
dz=pdx + qdy (1)
for all differentials du and dv. Then
dz dx dii
r = p + q^
du cu du
dz dx dy .
whence p and q are also determined as functions of u and v.
In either definition the M z consists of the plane elements
formed by the points of a surface and the tangent planes at
those points.
2. Let the points of the plane elements be taken as functions
of a single variable u and let p and q be again determined by
equation (1), where one of the two (say p) is arbitrary and the
other (say q) is thus determined in terms of p and u. The M Z
then consists of the points of a curve and the tangent planes to
the curve at those points. The points themselves form a one
dimensional extent, and through each point goes a onedimensional
extent of planes ; namely, the pencil of planes through the tangent
line to the curve.
260 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
3. Let (x, y, z) be a fixed point and let p and q be arbitrary and
independent. The M 2 then consists of a point with the bundle of
planes through it. In this case, also, equation (1) is true, since
dx, dy, and dz are all zero.
It is clear that the M 2 s defined above do not exhaust all pos
sible types of twodimensional extents of plane elements. For
example, we might take the points as points on a surface and the
planes as uniquely determined at each point but not tangent to
the surface ; and other examples will occur to the student. The
abovementioned types exhaust all cases, however, for which equa
tion (1) is true, as the student may verify. We shall say that a set
of plane elements satisfying (1) form a union of elements.
Two M^s are said to be in contact when they have a plane
element in common. From this definition two surfaces, or a curve
and a surface, are in contact when they are tangent in the ordi
nary sense, a point is in contact with a surface or a curve when
it lies on the surface or the curve, two curves are in contact when
they intersect, and two points are in contact when they coincide.
A contact transformation is a transformation by which two M^s
in contact are transformed into two .3f 2 s in contact. There are
three types of such transformations, which we shall proceed to
discuss in the following sections.
108. Pointpoint transformations. This transformation is defined
by three equations of the form
(1)
or, more generally, F^(x, y, z, x , y , z 1 ) = 0,
I\(x,y,z,x ,y ,z )=Q, (2)
F 9 (x, y, z, x , /, O=0,
where we make the hypothesis that equations (1) can be solved
for x, y, z and equations (2) for z, /, z and a/, y\ z , and that all
functions are continuous and may be differentiated. Within a prop
erly restricted region the relations between x, y, z and a/, y , z are
one to one, a point goes into a point, a surface into a surface,
and a curve into a curve.
TRANSFORMATIONS
261
A direction dx:dy: dz is transformed into a direction dx i dy : dz ,
where
, , dx . dx
dx = dx + dy
dx dy
dx cy
dz dz
dz = ax H a y
dx cy l
d
dz Z *
~fo dZ
dz
dz.
dz
(3)
From this it follows that two tangent surfaces are transformed
into tangent surfaces. More specifically, the relation
dz = p dx + q dy,
which defines a union of line elements, is transformed into
(4)
dz
dx
dy
dz
dz dz
dx +P dz
dx dx dx
dz
dx
dj/_
ix~
+P dz
dz
dx
dy q ~dz
= 0.
(5)
If now we define p and q so that this relation is
dz = p dx +q dy ,
(6)
a union of plane elements (x, y, z, p, q) is transformed into a union
of plane elements (V, y , z , p , q ). From equations (5) and (6),
These equations adjoined to (1) form, together with (1), the
enlarged point transformations.
A collineation is an example of a point transformation. Another
example of importance is the transformation by reciprocal radius,
or inversion with respect to a sphere. If the sphere has its center
at the origin and radius &, the transformation is
,_ **
262 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISE
Discuss the properties of the inversion with respect to a sphere,
especially with reference to singular points and lines.
109. Pointsurface transformations. Such a transformation is
denned by the equation
f(x,y,z,xi,y ,z>)=$, (1)
with the usual hypotheses of continuity and differentiability of /.
An example is a correlation since it may be expressed by the single
equation
(a n x + a^y + a^z h M ) x + (a^x + a^y + a^z + aj y
+ OV+ a & + v + a J z + a 4i x + a ^y + v + a u = 
By equation (1), if (z, j/, 2) is fixed, (V, y, 2 ) lies on a surface m ,
and we say a point P is transformed into a surface m f . If P f (a/, ?/ , 2 )
is fixed, the point (x, y, z) describes a surface w, where the surfaces
m and w are not necessarily of the same character. If P is on m! it is
obvious that m contains P. In other words, if P describes a surface
w, the corresponding surface, m , continues to pass through P . We
say, therefore, that the surface m is transformed into a point P .
If P describes any surface S (differing from an m surface), the
surface m will in general envelop a surface S , the transformed
surface of S. Analytically, from the general theory of envelopes, if
the equation of S is z =
and p = ^ q = , the equation of S f is found by eliminating x, y,
and 2 from (1) and (2) and the two equations
2P 2F
\ = 0, (3)
 = 0. (4)
vy vz
Furthermore, the tangent plane to S at any point is the same as
the tangent plane to m at that point, and hence, if we use p and q f to
fix that plane, we have / /
TRANSFORMATIONS 263
We now have five equations, namely (1), (3), (4), (5), and (6),
establishing a relation between a plane element (#, y, z, p, q) and
a plane element (V, y, 2 , //, q ). These equations may be solved
to obtain the form
.
X =
, z,p, q),
p =<>*?, y, *, p, ?
^=* 6 (^y *.? ?)>
which form the enlarged pointsurface contact transformation.
EXERCISES
1. Study the transformation defined by the equation
x * + 2/ 2 + 2 (* 4 2/2/ + ) = 0.
2. Study the transformation denned by the equation
(x  x f + (y  y) 2 + (*  * ) 2 = a\
110. Pointcurve transformations. Consider a transformation
defined by the two equations
f^x, y, z, x ,y , z f )=Q,
f 2 (x,y,z,x ,y ,z )=0.
If a point P (z, y, 2) is fixed, the locus of P 1 (V, / , 2 ) is a
curve k defined by equations (1). Similarly, if P is fixed, the
locus of P is a curve k. Hence the transformation changes points
into curves.
If P describes a curve (7, the curve k takes oo 1 positions and in
general generates a surface. The oo 1 curves k f may, however, have
an envelope C", which is then the transformed curve of C. Or,
finally, if C is a curve &, the corresponding curves k 1 pass through
a point P , which we have seen to correspond to k.
If the point P describes a surface $, the corresponding curves k
form a twoparameter family of curves. The envelope of the family
is a surface S which corresponds to S.
To work analytically let us form from (1) the equation
/,+v;=o.
264 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
With (V, y , z ) fixed, (2) represents a pencil of surfaces through
a &curve, and the tangent plane to any one of these surfaces at a
point on the &curve has a p and a q given by the equations
a*
a?
There is therefore thus defined a pencil of plane elements through
a point P and tangent to a &eurve through that point.
Similarly, with (x, y, z) fixed, equation (2) defines a pencil of
surfaces through a & curve, and a corresponding pencil of plane
elements is defined by (V, y , z ) and
From (3) and (4) it is easy to compute that dzpdx qdy is
transformed into dz 1 p dx q dy except for a factor. So that if
(x, y, z, p, q) is transformed into (V, y 1 , d, p\ q ) by means of (1),
(3), and (4), a union of plane elements is transformed into a
union of plane elements.
From the six equations (1), (3), (4) we may eliminate X and
obtain five equations which may be reduced to the form
which define the enlarged pointcurve contact transformation
derived from (1).
Consider a fixed point P(a, 6, (?) with the Jf 2 of plane elements
through it. Equations (1) define a & curve, and we may consider
them solved for z and y in terms of a/. In (3) jt? and <? may be
taken arbitrarily. Then, if the values of z and y f in terms of a? are
substituted in (3), both X and x may be determined. Finally,
TRANSFORMATIONS 265
p r and <f are determined from (4). This shows that a definite
plane element through P is transformed into a definite plane ele
ment of a & curve. The M 2 through P is therefore transformed
into a M 2 along k .
A pencil of plane elements through P will in general be trans
formed into an M 1 of plane elements forming a strip along k , but
if the axis of the pencil through P is tangent to a #curve, the
pencil will be transformed into a similar pencil at a point of the
# curve.
That being established, we see that if C is any curve, and we
take an Jf 2 of plane elements tangent to it, we shall have corre
spondingly an M[ 2 of plane elements forming a surface. But if C
is the envelope of ^curves, the M 2 consists of elements tangent to
a curve C r enveloped by ^/curves.
If P describes a surface S, and we take the J/ 2 of tangent ele
ments, we shall have a corresponding Jf 2 , forming a surface S r .
A plane element of the M 2 gives a definite plane element of a
&curve, as we have shown. Therefore the surface S 1 is made
of plane elements belonging to ^ curves and is the envelope of
such curves.
EXERCISE
Study in detail the transformation defined by the equations
CHAPTER XV
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES
111. Pencils of spheres. The equation
hz + c = () (1)
represents a sphere with the center ( > *  ) and the radius r,
, ,, .. \ a a a /
given by the equation
O / L ,) o j rt
r2 _/ +r +h 2 ac
a 2
If a = 0, equation (1) represents a plane which may be regarded
as a sphere with an infinite radius and with its center at infinity.
For convenience we shall denote the lefthand member of equation
(1) by S. The equation S
shall then denote the sphere with the coefficients a,,./, # t , 7i t , c t .
Consider now two spheres
S i= 0, 2 =0. (3)
They intersect at right angles when and only when the square
of the distance between their centers is equal to the sum of the
squares of their radii. The condition for this is easily found to be
The spheres defined by the equation
S 1 +XS 2 =0, (5)
where X is an arbitrary parameter, form a pencil of spheres. If S l
and S 2 are both planes, all spheres of the pencil are planes. Other
wise the pencil contains one and only one plane, the equation of
which is found by placing X =   in (5).
a 2
This plane, called the radical plane of the pencil, has accordingly
the equation a.S.a.S^O (6)
or
266
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 267
The centers of the spheres of the pencil have the coordinates
/
\
Xo, ttjlX^ flj+X
and therefore lie in a straight line perpendicular to the radical
plane. This line is the line of centers of the pencil.
We have three forms of a pencil of real spheres not planes :
1. When the spheres S l and $ 2 intersect in the same real circle C.
The pencil consists of all spheres through C. The radical plane is
the plane of (7, and the line of centers is perpendicular to that plane
at the center of C.
2. When the spheres S^ and $ 2 intersect in an imaginary circle.
All spheres of the pencil pass through the same imaginary circle,
but in the ordinary sense the spheres do not intersect. The radical
plane is a real plane containing the imaginary circle, and the line
of centers is perpendicular to it.
3. When the spheres S l and $ 2 are tangent at a point A. The
spheres of the pencil are all tangent at A. The radical plane is the
common tangent plane at A, and the line of centers is perpendicular
to the radical plane at A.
The position of the radical plane in the second form of the pencil
has been fixed only analytically. A useful geometrical property
is that all the tangent lines from a fixed point of the radical plane
to the spheres of the pencil are equal in length. For if P is
any point of space, and M the center of a sphere of radius r, the
square of the tangent from P to the sphere is MP r 2 . Applying
this to a sphere of the pencil (5), we find the square of the length
of the tangent to be . .
11 i ,, 1 /,
which can be written
i !<!
If the point P is in the radical plane (6), this distance is inde
pendent of \ and hence the theorem.
It follows from this that the radical plane is the locus of the centers
of spheres orthogonal to all spheres of the pencil.
Closely connected with this is the theorem : A sphere orthogonal
to any two spheres is orthogonal to all spheres of the pencil determined
by them and has its center on the radical plane of the pencil,
268 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The last part of this theorem is a consequence of the previous
theorem. The first part is a consequence of the linear nature of
the condition (4) for orthogonality.
112. Bundles of spheres. The spheres defined by the equation
S 1 +XS a +/*S 8 =0, CO
where $ 1? 2 , S s are three spheres not belonging to the same pencil
and X, /JL are arbitrary parameters, form a bundle of spheres.
The centers of the spheres of the bundle have the coordinates
/_
From (2) it follows that if the centers of the three spheres S t ,
$ 2 , $ 8 lie on a straight line, the centers of all spheres of the bundle
lie on that line. The center may be anywhere on that line, and
the radius of the sphere is then arbitrary. Hence a special case
of a bundle of spheres consists of all spheres whose centers lie on f a
straight line.
More generally, if the centers of S^ $ 2 , and $ 3 are not on the
same straight line, they will determine a plane, and the centers
of all spheres of the bundle lie in this plane. This plane, is the
s/s >> f e
plane of centers, and any point in it is the center of a plan of
the bundle. In this case the three spheres S^ $ 2 , $ 3 intersect in
two points (real, imaginary, or coincident), and all spheres of the
bundle pass through these points. If the two points are distinct,
they are symmetrical with respect to the plane of centers ; if they
are coincident, they lie in the plane of centers. Hence we see that
a bundle of spheres consists in general of spheres whose centers lie in
a fixed plane and which pass through a fixed point.
The radical planes of the three spheres 15 2 , and $ 3 , taken in
pairs, are a a=
which evidently intersect in a straight line called the radical axis
of the bundle. It is perpendicular to the plane of centers and passes
through the points common to the spheres of the bundle. The
radical plane of any two spheres of the bundle passes through the
radical axis.
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 269
Any sphere orthogonal to three spheres of a bundle is orthogonal
to all the spheres of the bundle because of the linear form of
condition (4), 111. The centers of such spheres lie in the radi
cal axis of the bundle, since by 111 they must lie in the radical
plane of any two spheres of the bundle, and any point of the radical
axis is the center of such a sphere. It is not difficult to show that
these spheres form a pencil.
In fact, to any bundle of spheres we may associate an orthogonal
pencil of spheres and to any pencil of ~& sphered an orthogonal bundle.
The relation of pencil and bundle is such that every sphere of the pencil
is orthogonal to every Sphere of the bundle, the line of centers of the
pencil is the radical axis of the bundle, and the radical plane of the
pencil is the plane of centers of the bundle.
As far as the details of the above theorem have not been ex
plicitly proved in the foregoing, the proofs are easily supplied by
the student.
Closely connected with the foregoing theorem is the following :
All spheres orthogonal to two fixed spheres form a bundle and all
spheres orthogonal to three fixed spheres form a pencil.
The foregoing assumes that the three spheres S^ S 2 , S s are
not all planes. If they are, the bundle of spheres reduces to a
bundle of planes. Otherwise the bundle of spheres contains a
onedimensional extent of planes through the radical axis of
the bundle.
113. Complexes of spheres. The spheres represented by the
equation 8 l +v) t +p8.+ V 8<=0, (1)
where S^ $ 2 , S 3 , S 4 do not belong to the same bundle or pencil
and X, ft, v are arbitrary parameters, form a complex of spheres.
The radical planes of the four spheres S^ $ 2 , $ 3 , $ 4 taken in
pairs intersect in a point, and the radical plane of any two spheres
of the complex pass through that point. This point is the radical
center of the complex. From the properties of radical planes it
follows that the square of the length of the tangents drawn from
the radical center to all spheres of the complex is constant. There
fore the radical center is the center of a sphere orthogonal to all
the spheres of the complex. Conversely, it is easy to see that any
sphere orthogonal to this sphere belongs to the complex. That is,
270 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
the complex consists of spheres orthogonal to a fixed base sphere whose
center is the radical center of the complex.
If the four spheres intersect in a point that point is the radical
center. The base sphere is then a sphere of radius zero and the
complex consists of spheres passing through a point.
The above discussion assumes that the four spheres S^ $ 2 , $ 3 , $ 4
are not planes. If they are, the complex simply consists of all
planes in space. In the general case the complex contains a doubly
infinite set of planes which pass through the center of the base
sphere.
114. Inversion. Let be the center of a fixed sphere $, k 2 the
square of its radius, and P any point. The point P may be trans
formed into a point P by the condition that OPP forms a straight
line and that OPOP =k\ (1)
This transformation is an inversion, or transformation by recip
rocal radius. The point is the center of inversion, and the
sphere S is the sphere with respect to which the inversion takes
place.
If the point has the coordinates (# , y o , g Q ), the equations of
the transformation are
i ,
0+
(2)
where Sf= (x  x^ + (y  % ) 2 + ( Z  z o ) 2 .
In this transformation the constants may be either real or
imaginary. If (X Q , y Q , Z Q ) is real and k 2 real and positive, the
inversion is with reference to a real sphere. If (X Q , y^ 2 o ) is real
and k 2 real and negative, the inversion is with reference to a
sphere with real center and pure imaginary radius. In this case,
however, real points are transformed into real points.
From the definition and equations (2) it appears that any point
P has a unique transformed point P , and, conversely, unless P is
at the origin, or on a minimum line through 0, or at infinity.
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 271
To handle these special cases we take at the origin and write
equations (2) with homogeneous coordinates as
pz =k*zt,
pt = X 2 +y*+z*.
From (3) it appears that the transformed point of is indeter
minate, but that if P approaches along the line x : y : z = I : m : n,
the point P recedes to infinity and is transformed into the point at
infinity I : m : n : 0. Hence we may say that the center of inver
sion is transformed into the entire plane at infinity. Conversely,
any point on the plane at infinity but not on the circle at infinity
is transformed into 0.
If P is on a minimum line through but not on the imaginary
circle at infinity, then x f : y 1 : z x : y : z and t = 0. That is, all
points on a minimum line through is transformed into the point
in which that line meets the imaginary circle at infinity. Con
versely, if P is on the imaginary circle at infinity the transformed
point is indeterminate, but x : y : z f = x : y : z, so that any point on
the circle at infinity is transformed into the minimum line through
that point and the center of inversion.
Consider now a sphere S with the equation
a (> 2 + tf + z 2 ) + 2fx + 2 gy + 2 hz + c= 0. (4)
It is transformed into
ak* + Zftfx + 2 gtfy + 2 M 2 z + c(x* + y* + z 2 ) = 0. (5)
This is in general a sphere, so that in general spheres are
transformed into spheres. But exceptions are to be noted:
1. If c = 0, a 3= 0, (4) is a sphere through and (5) a plane
not through 0, so that spheres through the center of inversion are
transformed into planes not through the center of inversion.
2. If a = 0, c = 0, (4) is a plane not through and (5) a sphere
through 0, so that planes not through the center of inversion are
transformed into spheres through the center of inversion.
3. If a = 0, c = 0, (4) and (5) represent the same plane through 0,
so that planes through the center of inversion are transformed into
themselves.
272 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
By an inversion the angle between two curves is equal to the
angle between the two transformed curves ; that is, the trans
formation is conformal. To prove this we compute from (2) (with
dx = {(*/ 2 + z 2  x*) dx2 xydy  2 xzdz},
, (6)
dz = <{ Zzxdx  2 yzdy + <V+ y* z^dz}.
Hence, if we place ds 2 = dx * + dy *+ dz 2 and ds 2 = dx* + rf/ + dz\
we have p
Now, if <fo, c??/, cfe correspond to displacements on a curve from
P, and &r, 8y, 8z to displacements along another curve from P, the
angle a between the curves is given by
dx&x h dy&y + dzz
cosa=
Similarly, the angle a 1 between the transformed curves is
dx Sx +dy Sy +dz W
 y ^ 
and it is easy to prove from (6) that cos a = cos a .
Any pencil, bundle, or complex of spheres is transformed into a
pencil, bundle, or complex, respectively. The line of centers of the
pencil is not, however, in general transformed into the line of cen
ters of the transformed pencil, but becomes a circle cutting the
spheres of the transformed pencil orthogonally. Also the radical
plane of the pencil is not transformed into the radical plane of the
transformed pencil, but into one of the spheres of that pencil.
Similarly, the plane of centers of a bundle is transformed into a
sphere cutting all the spheres of the bundle orthogonally, and the
radical axis of the bundle is transformed into a circle orthogonal
to the transformed bundle.
On the other hand, the base sphere of a complex is transformed
into the base sphere of the transformed complex.
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 273
If we take a pencil of spheres intersecting in a real circle and
take the center of inversion on that circle, the pencil of spheres is
evidently transformed into a pencil of planes. If we take a bundle
of spheres intersecting in two real points A and B, and take A as
the center of inversion, the bundle of spheres becomes a bundle of
planes through the inverse of B. If we take a complex of spheres
and place the center of inversion on the base sphere, the complex
becomes one with its base sphere a plane ; that is, it consists of all
spheres whose centers are on a fixed plane.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that by an inversion with respect to a sphere S all spheres
which pass through a point and its inverse are orthogonal to S.
2. Prove that a point and its inverse are harmonic conjugates with
respect to the points in which the line connecting the first two points
intersects the sphere of inversion.
3. Prove that the inverse of a circle is in general a circle and note
the special cases.
4. Prove that if two figures are inverse with respect to a sphere S 19
their inverses with respect to a sphere S 2 whose center is not on 5 t are
inverse with respect to S[, the inverse of S l with respect to 5 2 .
5. Prove that if two figures are inverse with respect to a sphere S v their
inverse with respect to a sphere S 2 whose center is on S 1 are symmetrical
with respect to the plane P f , the inverse of S l with respect to S a . Con
versely, if two figures are symmetrical with respect to a plane P they are
inverse with respect to any sphere into which the plane P is inverted.
Therefore inversion on a plane is defined as reflection on that plane.
6. Prove that if S is a sphere of radius r and S is its inverse, the
radius of S 1 is equal to the radius of S multiplied by the square of the
radius of the sphere of inversion and divided by the absolute value of
the power of the center of inversion with respect to S.
7. Prove that any two nonintersecting spheres maybe inverted by
an inversion on a real sphere into concentric spheres.
8. Prove that any three spheres may be inverted into three spheres
of equal radius.
9. Prove that inversion on a sphere with real center and pure imagi
nary radius ri is equivalent to inversion on a sphere with the same center
and real radius r, followed by a transformation by which each point is
replaced by its symmetrical point with respect to the center of inversion.
274 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
10. A surface which is its own inverse is called anallagmatic. Prove
that any anallagmatic surface cuts the sphere of inversion at right
angles if the point of intersection is not a singular point of the surface
and is the envelope of a family of spheres which cuts the sphere of
inversion orthogonally.
11. Prove that the product of two inversions is equivalent to the
product of an inversion and a metrical transformation or in special cases
to a metrical transformation alone.
115. Dupin s cy elide. The transformation by inversion is useful
in studying the class of surfaces known as Dupin s cyclides. These
are denned as the envelope of a family of spheres which are tangent
to three fixed spheres.
If the centers of the fixed spheres do not lie in a straight line we
may by inversion bring them into a straight line. To do this we
have simply to draw, in the plane of the centers of the three
spheres, a circle orthogonal to the three spheres and take any point
on that circle as the center of inversion. The circle then goes into
a straight line which is orthogonal to the three transformed spheres
and hence passes through their centers. This is a consequence of
the conformal nature of inversion. For the same reason the surface
enveloped by spheres tangent to the original three spheres is in
verted into a surface enveloped by spheres tangent to three spheres
whose centers lie on a straight line.
We shall study first the properties of such a surface and
then by inversion deduce the properties of the general Dupin s
cyclide.
Let us take the line of centers of three fixed spheres as the axis
of z and the equations of the spheres as
Then, if the sphere
6) 2 +( Z <0 2 => 2 (2)
is tangent to each of the spheres (1), the distance between the
center of (2) and that of any one of the spheres (1) must be equal
THE SPHERE IK CARTESIAN COORDINATES 275
to the sum or the difference of the radii of the two spheres. This
gives the three equations
tf 2 + 2 +f 2 =(rr i y 2 ,
a 2 + 6 2 + <? 2 c z c + <= (r r 2 ) 2 , (3)
which have in general four solutions of the form
c const., r = const., a~\b* = const. (4)
Therefore the sphere (2) belongs to one of four families each
of which consists of spheres with a constant radius and with
their centers on a fixed circle. Each family obviously envelops a
ring surface.
There are therefore in general four Dupin s cyclides determined
by the condition that the enveloping spheres are tangent to three
fixed spheres.
Let us take any one of the solutions (4) and change the coordi
nate system so that c = 0. The equation of the family of spheres
may then be written
(x  a Q cos 0) 2 +(ya Q sin 0) 2 + z 2  r\ (5)
where 6 is an arbitrary parameter and a Q and r are constants.
The surface enveloped by (5) is
<V + f + z *+ a 2_ r y = 4 <(:r + y> (6)
This is the equation of the ring surface formed by revolving about
the axis of z the circle , x _ a y _j_ ^ __ ^ ^
Hence any Dupin s cydide is the inverse of the ring surface formed
by revolving a circle about an axis not in its plane.
The ring surface contains two families of circles forming an
orthogonal network. The one family consists of the meridian cir
cles cut out by planes through the axis of revolution, the other of
circles of latitude made by sections perpendicular to that axis.
Since, by inversion, circles are transformed into circles, and angles
are conserved, there exist on any Dupin s eyelid e two similar
families of circles also forming an orthogonal network.
The ring surface is the envelope not only of the family of spheres
whose equation is (5) but also of the family with the equation
(z  a tan 0) 2 = (a o sec  rf. (8)
276 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
This family consists of spheres with their centers on OZ each of
which may be generated by revolving about OZ a circle with its
center on OZ and tangent to the circle (7). The spheres of this
family are tangent to the ring surface along the circles of latitude,
while the spheres of the family (5) are tangent to the ring surface
along the meridian circles. The family of spheres (8) may be deter
mined by the condition that they are tangent in a definite manner
to three spheres of (5).
Hence any Dupin s cy elide may be generated in two ways as the
envelope of a family of spheres consisting of spheres tangent to three
fixed spheres. Each family of spheres is tangent to the cyclide along
a family of circles, the two families of circles being orthogonal.
The planes of each family of circles intersect in a straight line.
This follows from the theorems of 112, since the inverse spheres
of the spheres (5) belong to the same bundle and the circles are inter
sections of spheres of that bundle, so that their planes pass through
the radical axis of the bundle. Similarly for the spheres (8).
The circle (7) intersects the axis of z in two real, imaginary, or
coincident points. Therefore a Dupin s cyclide has at least this
number of singular points. .We shall see later that it also has
other singular points, but we shall confine our attention at present
to these two. Call them A and B. The spheres of one of the fami
lies which envelop the cyclide intersect in A and B, as is seen in
the case of the ring surface. Consequently, if one of these points,
as A, is taken as the center of inversion this family of spheres
becomes a family of planes, and the cyclide inverts into a surface
enveloped by spheres which are tangent to three of these planes.
If A and B are distinct the planes pass through the point B 1 ,
the inverse of B, and the cyclide is inverted into a cone of revolu
tion, which is real if A and B are real, and imaginary if A and B
are imaginary.
If A coincides with B the planes are parallel and the cyclide is
inverted into a cylinder of revolution. We have accordingly the*
theorem: A Dupin s cyclide may always be inverted into a cone of revo
lution which, in special cases, degenerates into a cylinder of revolution.
Consequently we may obtain any cyclide in which the singular
points A and B are distinct by inverting the cone
2*+ywV=0 (9)
THE SPHERE IN CAETESIAN COORDINATES 277
from any real or imaginary center of inversion with respect to any
real or imaginary sphere ; or, what amounts to the same thing, we
may transform the origin to any real or imaginary point and invert
from the origin. The equation of the cone is then
(x  *) 2 + 0/  ) 2  m\z  7 ) 2 = 0, (10)
and its inverse with respect to the origin is
(c?+ 2  wV) (x*+ y* + z 2 ) 2  2 k\ax + fry  2 7 z) (x"+ y* + z 2 )
+ k\x 2 + ywV) = 0. (11)
To consider the case in which the points A and B coincide, we
invert the cylinder
( 9 ay+(y0)*=i* (12)
and obtain for its inverse
The cyclide is therefore a surface of the fourth order unless the
first coefficient in either (11) or (12) vanishes. But this happens
when and only when the cone (10) or the cylinder (12) passes
through the center of inversion.
If now we make the equations (11) arid (13) homogeneous,
and place t = to determine the section with the plane at infinity,
we get the circle at infinity as a double curve when the surface is
of fourth order, and the circle at infinity, together with a straight
line, when the surface is of the third order.
Hence a Dupin s cyclide is a surface of the fourth order with
the circle at infinity as a double curve, or a surface of the third order
with the circle at infinity as a simple curve.
We proceed to find the singular points of equation (11). We
can without loss of generality so turn the axes that fi = Q, and
will make the abbreviations
L = ax m 2f yz,
and write the equation as
 2 tfLR + k* (x 2 +y 2  w 2 z 2 ) = 0. (14)
278 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The singular points are then the solutions of this equation and
the following, formed by taking the partial derivatives with respect
to x, #, and z :
4 ARx  2 tfaR  4 tfLx + 2tfx = 0,
4ARy k*Ly + 2k*y = 0, (15)
4 ARz + 2 kVyR  4 tfLz  2 k*m*z = 0.
By multiplying equations (15) in order by z, y, z and adding, and
subtracting the result from twice (14), we obtain
(AR  T?L)R = 0. (16)
Also, by combining the first two of (15) we have
2 TfayR = 0. (17)
From (17) we have either R = or y = 0. Taking first the
condition y = 0, but R = 0, from (16) and (15),
aR <yR
k*
whence R = 
(ak 2 ryk 2 \
 i 0, ~  } is therefore a singular point. It is
ar+7? or+<f/
the inverse of the vertex* of the cone and is the point B of the
discussion on page 276.
Consider now the solution R = of equation (17). From (15)
& 2
we have either x = 0, y = 0, z = 0, or L = > z = 0. The origin is
2
therefore a singular point, the inverse of the section of the cone
with the plane at infinity, and is the point A of the discussion on
page 276.
The alternative R = Q,L= >z=0 leads to the two singular points
case
(k 2 k 2 i \
, ^i ). These points fail to exist if a 0, but in that
2 a 2 a /
the inversion is from a point on the axis of the cone, and the
surface (11) is then a ring surface.
The two singular points just found are each connected with A
and B by minimum lines.
If we consider in the same way equation (13), we obtain
similar results except that the singular point B coincides with A at
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 279
the origin, since the assumption y = leads to the conclusion R = 0.
(k 2 k 2 i \
> J are again singular points unless a=0,
when the surface (13) is a ring surface with a single singular point.
A Dupin s cyclide which is not a ring surface has in general four
finite singular points two of which are connected with the other two
by minimum lines. Two of these singular points may coincide, in
which case the cyclide has three finite singular points two of which
are connected with the third by minimum lines.
It follows, of course, that the Dupin s cy elides are not the gen
eral surfaces of fourth order with the circle at infinity as a double
curve nor the general surface of third order through the circle at
infinity. These more general surfaces will be noticed in the next
section.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that any Dupin s cyclide is anallagmatic with respect to
each sphere of two pencils of spheres.
2. Prove that the centers of each family of enveloping spheres of a
Dupin s cyclide lie on a conic.
3. Prove that the two lines in which the planes of the two families
of circles on the Dupin s cyclide intersect are orthogonal.
4. Prove that the circles on a Dupin s cyclide are lines of curvature.
(A line of curvature on a surface is such that two normals to the surface
at two consecutive points of the line of curvature intersect.)
5. Prove that the only surfaces which have two families of circles
for lines of curvature are Dupin s cyclides. (Exception should be made
of the sphere, plane, and minimum developable, for which all lines are
lines of curvature.)
116. Cyclides. A cyclide is defined by the equation
U Q (X*+ # 2 + z 2 ) 2 + u^ + y*+ z 2 ) + u = 0, (1)
where U Q is a constant, u l a polynomial of the first degree, and w 2 a
polynomial of the second degree in x, y, z. The Dupin s cyclides
are special cases of the general cyclide.
If U Q = in equation (1) the surface is of the fourth degree
and represents a biquadratic surface with the imaginary circle at
infinity as a double curve.
280 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If U Q = 0, equation (1) is a general of the third degree and repre
sents a cubic surface passing through the imaginary circle at infinity.
Degenerate cases of the cyclides may also occur if, in equation (1),
u Q =0 and u^ is identically zero. The equation then represents a
quadric surface or even a plane. These cases are important only
as they arise by inversion from the general cases.
In order to study the effect of inversion on the cyclide we may
take the center of inversion at the origin, since the form of equation
(1) is unaltered by transformation of coordinates. Such an inver
sion produces an equation of the same form, which is of the fourth
degree if u 2 contains an absolute term and of the third degree if u 2
does not contain the absolute term but does contain linear terms.
In the former case the origin is not on the surface ; in the latter
case the origin is on the surface, but is not a singular point. Hence
The inverse of any cyclide from a point not on it is always a cyclide
of the fourth order. The inverse of any cyclide from a point on it
which is not a singular point is always a cyclide of the third order.
In general the cyclide will not have a singular point. If it does
we may take it as the origin. Then in equation (1) the absolute
term and the terms of first order in u 2 disappear. By inversion from
the origin there will then be no terms of the fourth or the third
degree. Hence the cyclide with a singular point is the inverse of a
quadric surface. Conversely, as is easily seen, the inverse of a quadric
surface is a cyclide with at least one singular point.
Consider now a cyclide with two singular points A and B which
do not lie on the same minimum line. If we invert from A the
cyclide becomes a quadric surface with a singular point at B , the
inverse of B. It is therefore a cone. Hence the cyclide with two
singular points not on the same minimum line is the inverse of a quadric
cone. Conversely, the inverse of a quadric cone from a point not on it
is a cyclide with at least two singular points.
We have shown in 115 that a Dupin s cyclide of the fourth
order has in general four singular points. We shall now prove,
conversely, that a cyclide of the fourth order with four singular
points is a Dupin s cyclide.
If the four points are A, B, C, D they cannot all be connected
by minimum lines, since that is an impossible configuration. We
THE SPHERE IN CARTESIAN COORDINATES 281
will assume that A and B are not on a minimum line, and will
invert from A, thus obtaining a quadric cone F with its vertex at
J5 , the inverse of B. Any plane section of the cyclide through A B
is a curve of the fourth order with two singular points at A and B
and two other singular points on the circle at infinity. It therefore
breaks up into two circles and is inverted into two straightline
generators of the cone F. The cone is enveloped by a oneparameter
family of planes tangent along the generators. Therefore the
cyclide is enveloped by a oneparameter family of spheres tangent
along the circular sections through A and B.
The plane section determined by the points J, B, and C has three
singular points besides the two on the circle at infinity. Therefore
it consists of a circle and two minimum lines, and since AB is not
a minimum line, AC and BC are. By a similar argument AD and
BD are minimum lines. Hence CD is not a minimum line.
We may accordingly invert the cyclide from C and obtain another
cone with the properties of F. In particular, the straightline gen
erators of this cone are the inverses of circles on the cyclide, and
its tangent planes are the inverses of spheres tangent to the cyclide.
Therefore the cone F is enveloped by spheres, the inverse with
respect to A of the lastnamed family. Therefore F is a cone of
revolution and, by 115, the theorem is proved.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the envelope of spheres whose centers lie on a quadric
surface and which are orthogonal to a given sphere is a cyclide.
2. Discuss the plane curves called bicircular quartics, defined by the
e<luatlon .(* +**>+ ,<<*+ >+*
and trace the analogies to the cyclides.
3. Prove that the envelope of a circle which moves in a plane so that
its center traces a fixed conic, while the circle is orthogonal to a fixed
circle, is a bicircular quartic.
4. The intersection of a sphere and a quadric surface is a sphero
quadric. Prove that a spheroquadric may be inverted into a bicircular
quartic and conversely.
5. Prove that the intersection of a cyclide and a sphere is a sphero
quadric.
CHAPTER XVI
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES
117. Specialized coordinates. Pentaspherical coordinates are based
upon five spheres of reference, as the name implies. It is customary
to define them by use of the Cartesian equations of the five spheres,
but we prefer to build up the coordinate system independently of
the Cartesian system, using only elementary ideas of measurement
of real distance. This brings into emphasis the fact that penta
spherical coordinates are not dependent upon Cartesian coordinates,
but that the two systems stand side by side, each on its own founda
tion. One result is that certain ideal elements pertaining to the
socalled imaginary circle at infinity which are found convenient in
Cartesian geometry are nonexistent in pentaspherical geometry;
and, conversely, certain ideal elements of pentaspherical geometry
do not appear in Cartesian geometry.
Let OX, OY, and OZ be three mutually perpendicular axes of
reference intersecting at 0, P any real point, OP the distance from
to P, and OL, OM, ON the three projections of OP on OX, OF, OZ
respectively. Algebraic signs are to be attached to the three projec
tions in the usual way, but OP is essentially positive. We may then
take as coordinates of P the four ratios defined by the equations
?, : f, : f, : f, : f.= ?* OL : OM: ON: 1 (1)
and satisfying the fundamental relation *
K+K+f 4 f,f.= o. (2)
It is obvious that to any real point corresponds a set of real
coordinates and that to any set of real coordinates corresponds
one real point. The extension to imaginary and infinite points is
made in the usual manner. In particular, as P recedes from indefi
nitely in any direction, the coordinates approach the limiting ratios
1:0:0:0:0, which are the coordinates of a real point at infinity.
This, however, is not the only point at infinity, as will appear when
we consider the formula for the distance between two points.
282
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 283
The relation (1) may be reduced to a sum of squares by replacing
the coordinates f . by new coordinates x { , where
whence
(4)
and the coordinates x { satisfy the fundamental relation
In these coordinates, which we shall use henceforth, a real point
has four of its coordinates real and the fifth pure imaginary (the
proportionality factor p being assumed real). This slight incon
venience, if it is an inconvenience, is more than balanced by the
symmetry of equation (5). The coordinates of the real point at
infinity are now 1 : : : : i.
If P l and P 2 are two real points with coordinates y { and x { respec
tively, the projections of the line f^P 2 on OX, OY, OZ, respectively,
are easily seen to be
and hence, since the square of the distance of the line P^ is equal
to the sum of the squares of its projections, we compute readily, with
the aid of (5), the distance formula for the distance d between two
P intS 2 x x x + x& + x,y^ ? g
which is the same as
CO
a*(x, y) being the polar of o>(V).
284 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The formula (6), thus derived for real points, will be taken as
the definition of distance between all kinds of points. From this it
appears that d is infinite when and only when one of the points
satisfies the equations 2^+ ix^= and o>(#, y)^ 0. Hence the locus
of points at infinity is given by the equation x^+ix^ = 0.
Since the coordinates of all points satisfy (5), we have for points
at infinity x 1 + ix 6 = and x% + xl f xl = 0. Therefore the point
1 : : : : i is the only real point at infinity. The nature of the
imaginary locus at infinity will appear later.
118. The sphere. A sphere is defined as usual as the locus of
points equally distant from a fixed point. This definition includes
all spheres in the usual sense and all loci which are expressed by
equation (6), 117, in which y i is fixed and d = r a constant. This
equation is
+[2 ?.+ <>!+ &)*]*.= o. (i)
This is of the type
where pa l = 2 ^ + (^ + iy^) r\
P a 2 =2y 2 >
/>V=2y., (3)
P a i=2ys
p a ,= % y 5 + *(*/!+ iy^r*
From these equations and the fundamental relation o> (?/) = 0,
. a
which give the center and the radius of any sphere (2) in terms of
the coefficients a { . We have, then, the following statement, half
theorem, half definition.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 285
Every linear equation of the type (2) represents a sphere, the center
and the radius of which are given by equations (4).
It is convenient to represent by 77 (a) the numerator of r 2 in (4) ;
that is, ^\_2,2,2j_2_,_2
t] \ > ) **i ~t~ ^2 ^* 3 "i ^4 i a^ .
We have, then, the following classes of spheres :
CASE I. 77 (a) = 0. Nonspecial spheres.
Subcase 1. 77 (a) = 0, a^+ia^ 0. Proper spheres. The center and
the radius of the sphere is finite, but neither is necessarily real.
The sphere does not contain the real point at infinity.
Subcase 2. 77 (a)^ 0, ^f ia & = 0. Ordinary planes. The radius
is infinite. The center is the real point at infinity. Since a plane
is the limit of a sphere with center receding to infinity and radius
increasing without limit, we shall call this locus a plane. This
may be justified by returning to the coordinates f t .. The equa
tion then reduces to 2 f 2 4 a 8 Z 3 + a c~ a ^~ w ^ ^ e condition
# 2 2 + # 2 4 a l^ 0 By repetition of the familiar argument of analyti
cal geometry this may be shown to represent a plane.
Since this case differs from the previous one essentially in that
the coordinates 1 : : : : i now satisfy the equation of the sphere,
we may say : A proper plane may be defined as a nonspecial sphere
which passes through the real point at infinity.
CASE II. 77 (a) = 0. Special spheres.
Subcase 1. 77 (a) = 0, d^fia^O. Point spheres. The radius is
zero and the center is not at infinity. It is obvious that the sphere
passes through its center y. = a., and if y i is real the sphere con
tains no other real point. The sphere does not contain the real
point at infinity.
Subcase 2. 77 (a) = 0, a l \ia 5 = 0. Special planes. The radius is
indeterminate. The center is ajaj a 3 : a^: ia^ which is a point at
infinity. The equation of the sphere may be written
which, in Cartesian geometry, would be that of a minimum plane
(80). In this case the sphere contains the real point at infinity.
Hence we may say: A special plane is a point sphere which
passes through the real point at infinity.
286 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The locus at infinity is, as we have seen, x^+ ix & = 0. This comes
under Case II, Subcase 2, and is therefore a special plane with its
center at 1 : : : : i ; that is, the locus at infinity is a special
plane whose center is the real point at infinity.
119. Angle between spheres. The angle between two real proper
spheres is equal or supplementary to the angle between their radii
at any point of intersection. For precision we will take as the
angle that one which is in the triangle formed by the radii to the
point of intersection and the line of centers of the spheres. If 6
is this angle, d the distance between the centers, and r and r 1 the
radii, then
, 2 2 . 2 . a
er= r+ r * 2 rr cos 6.
If now the equations of the two spheres are
2^ = 0, 2)** =
an easy calculation by aid of formulas (4), 118, and (6), 117,
( ^ { r , a .
whence
COS e = , aib ^ ^ 2 2+ ^f 8 ) JT 4 a "^ 5 2 a a * C 1 )
This formula has been derived for real proper spheres intersect
ing in real points. We take it as the definition of the angle
between any two spheres. The student may show that if one or
both of the two spheres becomes a real plane, this definition of
angle agrees with the usual one.
Two spheres ^a f x t = 0, ^.bjK i = are
If both of the spheres are nonspecial, this agrees with the usual
definition. If, however, ^a f x t = is a special sphere, the condi
tion expresses the fact that the center of ^^f = ^ ^ es on ^ e
sphere ^b { x { = 0. Hence
The necessary and sufficient condition that a special sphere should
be orthogonal to another sphere is that the center of the special sphere
lie on the other sphere.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 287
EXERCISE
Prove that the coefficients a { in the equation of the sphere are pro
portional to the cosines of the angles made by the sphere with the
coordinate spheres, and that the cosines themselves may be found by
dividing a t by V^ 2 + a 2 2 + 8 2 + a? + 5 2 . Compare with direction cosines
in Cartesian geometry.
120. The power of a point with respect to a sphere. If C is the
center of the sphere
with the radius r, and P is any point with coordinates y^ the dis
tance CP is easily calculated by (4), 118, and (6), 117, with
the result:
(!+.
We shall place
2 s 2 Q^ f a
, 2
and shall call ^ the power of the point y { with respect to the sphere.
If the sphere is real and the point y i is a real point outside the sphere,
the power is the square of the length of any tangent from the point
to the sphere. If the sphere is a point sphere, the power is the square
of the distance from the point y { to the center of the sphere. In all
other cases equation (2) is the definition of the power.
From (2) may be obtained the important formula for a non
special sphere :
S = 2 a 1 y 1 + a^ + a 3 */ 3 + ^4 + <W* . ^
r 1/i+iff* V! 2 + 2 2 +3 2 +<+ 5 2
The above discussion fails if the sphere is a plane. We may,
however, obtain the meaning of formula (3) in this case by a limit
process. We have, from (2),
S = (P C  r) (P C + r) = PA (P C + r) ,
where PA is the shortest distance from P to the sphere. Then
288 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Now let C recede to infinity along the line PC. The sphere
PC
becomes a plane perpendicular to PA. But the limit of  as
r becomes infinite and a^ ia & approaches zero, is 1, from (1).
Therefore
where PA is the perpendicular from P to the plane. This result
may be checked by replacing x i by and using familiar theorems
of Cartesian geometry.
The equation of any nonspecial sphere may be written so that
17 (a) =1. The equation is then said to be in its normal form, and
the denominator a?+ a% + a% + a* + 0% disappears from equation (3).
121. General orthogonal coordinates. Let us make the linear
substitution
pat = a^x, + a i2 x 2 + a is x s + a rt z 4 + a i5 x 6 , (i = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (1)
in which the determinant a ik \ does not vanish. Then to any set of
ratios x i corresponds one set of ratios zj, and since the quantities x i
satisfy a quadratic relation &&gt; (x) = 0, the quantities x( satisfy another
quadratic relation ft (V) = 0.
Then values of x( which satisfy fl (V) = correspond to one and
only one set of ratios of x i which satisfy o> (x) = 0. Therefore x[
can be taken as coordinates of a point in space and are the most
general pentaspherical coordinates.
The sphere 2X^,= ^
becomes the sphere ^
where pa, = a u a( + a. 2i a 2
and the condition 77 (a) = for a special sphere goes into another
quadratic condition H (V) = 0.
The point at infinity takes the new coordinates a fl + ia^ , and the
condition that a sphere should be a plane is that its equation should
be satisfied by these coordinates.
The coordinates of 117 form a special case of these general
coordinates. We shall not, however, pursue the treatment of the
general case, but shall restrict ourselves to the case in which the
five coordinate spheres are orthogonal. In this case no sphere can
be special, since, if it were, its center would lie on each of the other
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 289
four spheres, and there would be four orthogonal spheres through
a common point, which is obviously absurd.
We may consider that each of the equations of the coordinate
spheres has been put in the normal form, so that we have, in (1),
?,+ +<+<+<=!. (3)
Then, by (3), 120, the substitution is expressed by the equations
&=*> (4)
where S t is the power of the point x i with respect to the sphere
9
x . = 0, and r, is the radius of x . = 0, since the factor   is the
x, + ix 5
same for all five spheres. If any sphere x k = is a plane, then
Cf
the corresponding term is to be replaced by 2P kJ where P k is
r k
the length of the perpendicular from x i to the plane x f k = 0.
Since the five spheres in (3) are orthogonal we have
for all pairs of values of i and k, i = k.
From a familiar theorem of algebra on orthogonal substitutions *
it follows that < + <+<.+ < + < = ! (6)
Consequently we have for x\ the fundamental relation
*; 2 + 2 f+*f + 3 i 2 + a f=o, (8)
and the condition for a special sphere is
i a a v x
Moreover, by the theory of orthogonal substitutions, equations (1)
solve into ^ = /o(v ; + a ^ + a ^ + a ti x( + a^nf). (10)
By (4), 118, the radius r . of the sphere x[= is
r^^^ (11)
Therefore the real point at infinity whose coordinates in the old
system x i are 1 : : : : i* has the new coordinates
/>*;= c 12 )
r i
* Cf. Scott s "Theory of Determinants," p. 154. .
290 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
where, if any sphere x k = is a plane, the corresponding coordinate
x k is zero, as in fact happens when r k oo.
The equation x^ ix & = for the locus at infinity becomes,
from (10) and (11), r t
2^ = , ( 13 >
where, again, if any coordinate sphere is a plane the corresponding
term vanishes from (13).
It is now easy to see that the formula (6), 117, for distance
becomes ^^ 2 (^+^+ xjy B + aX+*iyi) , (14)
so that the equation of a sphere with center y { and radius r is
22>X+^*Lo. (15)
Identifying this with ]a[zj = (16)
we have X= yS+  (17)
From (11), with (3) and (5),
so that, from (17), p^=^. (19)
By squaring (17), adding, and reducing by (8), (18), and
(19), we obtain the following formulas for the radius and the
center of the sphere (16): ^
(20)
The formulas of 118 are only special cases of these.
EXERCISES
1. Prove the relation V* = 2.
2. Deduce for the element of arc ds z =
($f
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 291
122. The linear transformation. Consider a linear transformation
in which the determinant \a ik \ does not vanish and by which the
fundamental relation w(x) = is invariant. Then the relation
77(0) = is also invariant.
The relations (1) define a onetoone transformation of space
by which a nonspecial sphere goes into a nonspecial sphere and a
special sphere into a special sphere. There are two types to be
distinguished.
I. Transformations by ivhich the real point at infinity is invariant.
By such a transformation planes are transformed into planes and,
consequently, straight lines into straight lines. Since the trans
formation is analytic it is a collineation.
Point spheres are transformed into point spheres ; therefore,
expressed in Cartesian coordinates, the transformation is one by
which minimum cones go into minimum cones, and consequently
the circle at infinity is invariant. Hence the transformation is a
metrical transformation.
Conversely, any metrical transformation may be expressed as a
linear transformation of pentaspherical coordinates. This is easily
seen by use of the special coordinates of 117 and is consequently
true for the general coordinates.
Hence a linear transformation of pentaspherical coordinates by
which the real point at infinity is invariant is a metrical transformation,
and conversely.
II. Transformations by which the real point at infinity is not inva
riant. Among these transformations are the inversions. That an
inversion may be represented actually by a linear transformation
of pentaspherical coordinates is evident from the example in the
coordinates &, 117, = & 4
and in fact any inversion may be so expressed by proper choice
of coordinates.
292 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Consider now the general case of a real transformation by which
the real point at infinity / is transformed into a real point A, and
the same point A, or another point A , is transformed into I.
Since the transformation is real A cannot be at infinity. Let this
transformation be T and let S be an inversion with A as the center
of inversion. Then the product ST leaves / invariant and is there
fore a metrical transformation, M. Therefore ST=M; whence
T = S 1 M. B ut S~ l = S. Therefore T = SM. Hence
Any real transformation of pentaspherical coordinates by which the
real point at infinity is not invariant is either an inversion, or the
product of an inversion and a metrical transformation.
This does not exhaust all cases of imaginary transformations.
We may obviously have imaginary transformations of the metrical
type or inversions from imaginary points, so that the above theorems
hold for transformations by which the real point at infinity is trans
formed into itself or into any finite point. Transformations, however,
by which the real point at infinity is transformed into an imaginary
point at infinity are of a different type. An example of such a
transformation is ,_ .
px l x 1 A x s ^^ 5 ,
We shall close this section with the theorem, important in subse
quent work : If the coordinate system is orthogonal the transforma
tion expressed by changing the sign of one of the coordinates is an
inversion on the corresponding coordinate sphere.
For let the sign of x k be changed. Then points on the sphere
x k = are unchanged, and any sphere orthogonal to x k = is trans
formed into itself. This characterizes an inversion on x k = 0.
EXERCISES
1. Prove the last theorem analytically, using the formulas of 121.
2. Prove that the product of five inversions with respect to five
orthogonal spheres is an identity.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 293
123. Relation between pentaspherical and Cartesian coordinates.
If we take the axes OX, OY, OZused in 117 to define the special
ized pentaspherical coordinates as the axes also of a set of Cartesian
coordinates, it is obvious that we have, for real points,
=20, (1)
= 2zt,
This establishes in the first place a onetoone correspondence
between real points in the two systems. It may be used also to
define the correspondence between the imaginary and infinite points
introduced into each system. There exists, however, no reason
why such points introduced into one system should always have
corresponding points in the other. As a matter of fact a failure of
correspondence of such points does exist.
The Cartesian points on the imaginary circle at infinity fail to exist
in pentaspherical coordinates since values of #, y, z, t which satisfy the
relations x 2 + y* + z* = 0, t = give ^ : x 2 : x 3 : x 4 : x^ = : : : : 0.
But any Cartesian point at infinity not on the imaginary circle
corresponds in pentaspherical coordinates to the real point at
infinity 1 : : : : i.
On the other hand, we have in pentaspherical geometry imaginary
points at infinity satisfying the relations x% + xl + xl = 0, x l f ix b = 0,
but not having # 2 = x s = x 4 = 0. These have no corresponding points
in Cartesian geometry since no values of x : y : z : t in (1) give them.
This failure in the correspondence is of importance if one wishes
to pass from one system to the other. They are of no significance,
however, as long as one operates exclusively in one system.
The general pentaspherical coordinates are connected with Car
tesian coordinates by equations of the form
px( = (a tl + ia.. ) (z 2 + / + z 2 ) + 2 a a x + 2a.,y+2 a,, z  (a a  ia ib ).
124. Pencils, bundles, and complexes of spheres. If a.^.= and
5^= are two spheres, the equation
+ Xi,.> ; =0 (1)
294 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
represents a sphere through all points common to the two spheres
and intersecting neither in any other point. Such spheres together
form a pencil of spheres.
A pencil of spheres contains one and only one plane unless it con
sists entirely of planes.
This follows from the fact that the condition that equation (1)
should be satisfied by the coordinates of the real point at infinity
consists of an equation of the first degree in X, unless both
Va i a; l .= and 2^~ ^ are satisfied by those coordinates. In the
latter case all the spheres (1) are planes.
A pencil of spheres contains two and only two special spheres (which
may be real, imaginary, or coincident) unless it consists entirely of
special spheres.
The condition that (1) represents a special sphere is
i/(a + X6) = i7() + Xiy(a, b) + \ 2 rj (6) = 0,
which determines two distinct or equal values of X unless rj (a) = 0,
77 (5) = 0, 77 (a, 6) = 0. The latter case occurs when the two spheres
2^2; = 0, V &,#, = are special spheres with the center of each on
the other.
The theorems of 111 and others analogous to those of 62 are
easily proved by the student.
If 2}^= 2)^i= ^ c i x iQ are three spheres not in the
same pencil, the equation
represents a bundle of spheres as in 112. The bundle contains
a singly infinite set of planes and a singly infinite set of special
spheres. The relations between orthogonal pencils and bundles
found in 112 are easily verified here.
If 2^ t =0, 5)^=0, 2^=0, 2/ta= are four spheres
not belonging to the same bundle, the equation
=
represents a complex of spheres. It consists of spheres orthogonal
to a base sphere and contains a doubly infinite set of planes and a
doubly infinite set of special spheres. The centers of the latter
form the base sphere.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 295
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the angle under which a sphere cuts any sphere of a
pencil is determined by the angle under which it cuts two spheres of
the pencil.
2. Prove that among the spheres of a pencil there is always one
which cuts a given sphere orthogonally.
3. Prove that the angle under which a sphere cuts any sphere of a
bundle is determined by the angles under which it cuts three spheres
of the bundle.
4. Determine a sphere orthogonal to four given spheres.
5. Determine a sphere cutting five given spheres under given angles.
When is the problem indeterminate ?
125. Tangent circles and spheres. Let y t , z t ., t t be any three
points given in orthogonal pentaspherical coordinates, and consider
the equations px _ = y< + x^+ ^.. (1)
In order that x i should be the coordinates of a point it is neces
sary and sufficient that
2j(y*+H+^) =o. (2)
Since ^y\= 0, ^zf= 0, *% = 0, equation (2) reduces to
A\ + BIL + C\fjL = 0, (3)
where A = ^yfr, B = ^yf^ C= ^^.
Therefore (1) may be written
or px i = By i + (Cy. + Bz i  At^) \ + Cfe.X 2 . (5)
This represents a onedimensional extent of points. Any sphere
which contains the three points y^ z it t t will also contain all the
points x it and any point x i belongs to all the spheres through ?/., t ., t ..
Therefore (4) represents a circle, including the special case of a
straight line.
Any equation f(x l9 # 2 , 8 , x^ x 6 ) = 0, (6)
where / is a homogeneous polynomial of the nth degree, represents
a surface. To find where it is cut by any circle substitute from
(5) into (6). There results an equation of degree 2 n in X, so that
the surface is cut by any circle in 2 n points.
296 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
If Cartesian coordinates are substituted for x i in (6) the equation
is of the 2wth order and of the form
where u k is a homogeneous polynomial of degree k not containing
^ 2 _l_^ 2 _l_ 2 2 ) as a factor. The surface therefore contains the circle
at infinity and as an wfold curve if U Q = 0. In the Cartesian
geometry the surface is cut by any circle in 4 n points, but the cir
cular points at infinity count 2n times and do not appear in the
tetracyclical geometry.
The equation in X is
A^ + = 0. (7)
Now if y t is on the surface, then /(/) = and ^y. j = 0, the
7t
latter because /is homogeneous. Therefore one root of (7) is zero.
Two roots will be zero if, in addition to y i being on the surface,
we have ,
*s?*^i**
**fy. **%,
which is the same as
^* 
(8)
If this condition is satisfied by the two points z i and f t ., the circle
(1) is tangent to the surface (6) at y { . The condition is certainly
met if z i and t i are both on the same sphere of the pencil
Any sphere of this pencil has accordingly the property that any
plane section of it through y i is a circle tangent to the surface (6).
Therefore (9) represents a pencil of tangent spheres to the surface.
If *= 0, all circles through y t meet the surface in two coinci
U i
dent points. The point y. is therefore a singular point. It is
obvious that the geometric meaning is the same as in the Cartesian
geometry.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 297
126. Cyclides in pentaspherical coordinates. Consider the surface
]^Vz* = 0. (=*) (1)
From 123 and 116 this is a cy elide. We have shown that if the
cyclide has singular points, it is the inverse of a quadric surface.
We shall therefore limit ourselves here to the general case in which
the singular points do not exist. Since, then, the equations =
tyi
have no common solution, it is necessary and sufficient that the
discriminant  a ik does not vanish.
It is a theorem of algebra that in this case the quadratic form
may be reduced by a linear substitution to the form
0^+^x1+ c z xl+cixt+c b x%=^ (2)
(where c^ 0), at the same time that the fundamental relation
"^ iS ^+2^+ ^+^+^=0. (3)
We shall therefore assume that the equation of the cyclide is in
the form (2) and that the coordinates are orthogonal.
From equation (2) it is obvious that the equation of the surface
is not altered by changing the sign of any one of the coordinates ar t ,
But this operation is equivalent to inversion on the sphere x t = 0.
Hence
The general cyclide is its own inverse with respect to each of five
mutually orthogonal spheres.
The pencil of tangent spheres to the cyclide at any point y i is,
by 125,
+*)^=0. (4)
Hence, in order that a given sphere
should be tangent to (2), it is necessary and sufficient to determine
\ and y. so that
and so that y. should satisfy the three equations (2), (3), (5).
This gives the three conditions
( +V>
298 THREEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
of which the first is a consequence of the last two. The last two
express the fact that the equation
= (8)
*i+X
has equal roots. This imposes a condition to be satisfied in order
that (5) should be tangent to (2).
When X has been determined from these equations, equations (6)
determine y i in general without ambiguity. Exceptions occur if
\ = c k , where c k is any one of the coefficients of (2). In that case
we have in (6) a k = 0, and y k cannot be determined from (6). How
ever, if the other four coordinates y i are determined, y k has two
values of opposite sign but equal absolute value, determined from
the fundamental relation (3). The corresponding sphere (5) is
orthogonal to x k = and tangent to the cyclide at two points which
are inverse with respect to x k 0.
The value of X may be taken arbitrarily as c k ; whence a k = 0.
The values of ( .(i=#) must then be determined from (7) with
X = c k . Each of the first two equations contain an indetermi
nate term. The last equation becomes
Sr^r =  (* **) (9)
The coefficients of (5) satisfy two equations, therefore, and the
spheres form a family of spheres which is not linear. In this family
a sphere can be found which is tangent to the cyclide at any
given point. For if X = c t , and y i is any point on the cyclide,
equation (6) will determine a,., and the a/s will satisfy (9), as
has been shown. The spheres of the family therefore envelop
the cyclide.
There are five such families of spheres, since X may be any one
of the five coefficients <?,.. Hence
The general cyclide is enveloped by jive families of spheres, each
family consisting of spheres orthogonal to one of the five coordinate
spheres and tangent to the surface at two points.
We shall show that the centers of the spheres of each series lie on
a quadric surface.
PENTASPHERICAL COORDINATES 299
Take, for example, the series for which \ = c l and a^ = 0. If
y i are the coordinates of the center of a sphere of the series by (20),
and
whence pa k =
and equation (9) becomes
= 2,3,4,5) (10)
which is the equation of the locus of the centers of the spheres of
the family under consideration.
By (4), 121, equation (10) may be written
and, finally, if S t and ^ are expressed in Cartesian coordinates,
equation (11) is of the second degree, and the theorem is proved.
We may sum up in the following theorem :
The general cy elide may be generated in five ways as the envelope of
a sphere subject to the two conditions that it should be orthogonal to a
fixed sphere and that its center should lie on a quadric surface.
A surface which is its own inverse with respect to a sphere S
is called anallagmatic with respect to , which is called the direc
trix sphere. Such a surface is enveloped by a family of spheres
orthogonal to S and doubly tangent to the surface. For at any
point P of the surface there is a sphere tangent to the surface and
orthogonal to S. By inversion this sphere is unchanged. It is
therefore tangent to the surface at P , the inverse of P.
The surface on which the centers of these enveloping spheres
of the anallagmatic surface lie is called the deferent.
The cyclide, therefore, is anallagmatic with respect to the five orthog
onal spheres and has five deferents, each a quadric surface.
300 THKEEDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. If Q t is one of the five deferents of the cyclide, and S t the corre
sponding directrix sphere, prove that the tetrahedron whose vertices
are the centers of the other five directrices is selfconjugate, both with
respect to Q k and with respect to S k .
2. Prove that on the cyclide there are ten families of circles, two
families corresponding to each of the five modes of generating the
cyclide.
3. The focal curve of any surface being defined as the locus of the
centers of point spheres which are doubly tangent to the surface, prove
that the cyclide has five focal curves, each being a spheroquadric formed
by the intersection of a deferent by the corresponding directrix sphere.
REFERENCES
For more reading along the lines of Part III of this book the following
references are given. As in Part II, these are not intended to form a complete
bibliography or to contain journal references.
General treatises
CLEBSCHLINDEMAN, Vorlesungen iiber Geometrie. Teubner.
DARBOUX. See reference at end of Part II.
NIEWENGLOWSKI, Ge ome trie dans 1 espace. GauthierVillars.
SALMONROGERS, Geometry of Three Dimensions. Longmans, Green & Co.
Circle and spheres :
COOLIDGE, Circle and Sphere Geometry. Oxford Clarendon Press.
Cydides :
BOCHER, Potentialtheorie. Teubner.
DARBOUX, Sur une classe remarquable de courbes et de surfaces alge"briques.
A. Hermann.
DOEHLEMANN, Geomctrische Transformationen, II. Teil. Goschen sche Verlags
handlung.
These are in addition to the general treatises of Darboux and Coolidge already
referred to. The first section of Bocher s book is of interest here. Doehlemann
contains figures of the Dupin cyclides.
Algebraic operations:
BOCHER, Introduction to Higher Algebra. The Macmillan Company.
BROMWICH, Quadratic Forms and their Classification by Means of Invariant
Factors. Cambridge University Press.
Each of these books contains geometrical illustrations. The student may refer
to them for any algebraic methods we have employed and especially for an expla
nation of the method of elementary divisors in reducing one or a pair of quadratic
forms to various types. Bromwich contains a full classification of the cyclides.
PART IV. GEOMETRY OF FOUR AND HIGHER
DIMENSIONS
CHAPTER XVII
LINE COORDINATES IN THREEDIMENSIONAL SPACE
127. The Pliicker coordinates. The straight lines in space form a
simple example of a fourdimensional extent, since a line is deter
mined by four coordinates. In fact, the equations of a line can
in general be put in the form
x = rz + p, _
y = sz + (T,
and the quantities (r, s, />, cr) may be taken as the coordinates of
the line. More symmetry is obtained, however, by the following
device.
From equations (1) we have
rysx = r(Tps, (2)
and we may place ra ps = 77, (3)
thus obtaining five coordinates connected by a quadratic relation.
If (V, y, z ) and (x", y", z"} are any points on the line (1), we
may easily compute
r:s:p:v:rj:l = x x f :y y":x z x z":y"z f y f z":x f y"x"y :z z",
and it is the ratios on the righthand side of this equation which
were taken by Pliicker as the coordinates of a line.
These coordinates, however, form only a special case, arising
from the use of Cartesian coordinates, of more general coordinates
obtained by the use of quadriplanar coordinates. We proceed to
obtain these coordinates independently of the work just done.
The position of a straight line is fixed by two points (x^.x^x^x^)
and (jjjyjyjy^) It should be possible, therefore, to take as coor
dinates of the line some functions of the coordinates of these two
points. Furthermore, since any two points whose coordinates are
301
302
FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
\x { + ^y { may be used to define the same line as is denned by x {
and y^ the coordinates of the line must be invariant with respect
to the substitutions
px( = X^ t . + n$ py i = \Xi + pj/r
Simple expressions fulfilling these conditions are the ratios of
. We will, accordingly, consider
determinants of the form
the expressions
Since ^.. = p. k , there are six of these quantities; namely,
which are connected by the relation
x i
y\
x i
y
It is obvious that to any straight line corresponds one and only
one set of ratios of the quantities p ik .
As we have seen, the ratios of p ik are independent of the partic
ular points of the line used to form p ik . If in particular we take
one point as the point : x z : x z : x^ in which the line cuts the plane
x t = 0, we have P 12 =^^ P ls = X 3 ^^ P 14 =~ x 4 y l l whence
x z :x z : x t = P\2 : Piz : Pu Using in a similar manner the points in
which the line meets the other coordinate planes, we have, as the
points of intersection with the four planes, the following four points :
Pi. : 
LINE COORDINATES 303
The condition that these four points should lie on a straight
line is exactly the relation (4).
From (5) it follows that a set of ratios p ik can belong to only
one line and that these ratios may have any value consistent
with (4).
Hence the ratios of p ik may be taken as the coordinates of a straight
line, and the relation between a straight line and its coordinates is one
to one. These coordinates are called Pl dcker coordinates.
Of course if a straight line lies completely in one of the coor
dinate planes, one of the sets of ratios in (5) becomes indeterminate.
This cannot happen, however, for more than two of the sets at the
same time, and the other two sets, together with (4), determine^.
128. Dualistic definition. A straight line may be defined by the
intersection of two planes u. and v { . Reasoning as in 127 we are
led to place
which are connected by the relation
To any straight line corresponds one ratio set of ratios of q ik ,
and the four planes through the straight line and the vertices of
the tetrahedron of reference have the plane coordinates
: U : q u : q u ,
q : : &.:?,
ll fa : : t (3)
<? 9 : ? : 
Therefore, to any set of values of the six quantities q lk which
satisfy the relation (2), there corresponds one and only one line
with the coordinates q ik .
The relation between the quantities p ik and q ik is simple. From
(3) the plane
304
FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
passes through the line q ik . If x i and y k are two points on the line
we have, besides equation (4), the equation
+ = 0.
From (4) and (5) we have
3 = iis = 2".
^34 ^42 #
Similarly, we may show that
_ i4 5*2
We may, accordingly, use only one set of quantities :
bound by the fundamental relation
(r) = 2 (r 12 r 34 + r 13 r 42 + r 14 r 23 ) = 0,
and may interpret in point or plane coordinates at pleasure.
129. Intersecting lines. Two straight lines, one determined by
the points x { and y. and the other by the points x( and y t , inter
sect when the four points lie in the same plane, and only then.
The necessary and sufficient condition for this is
o,
which is the same as
(1)
Also, dualistically, two lines, one determined by the planes u {
and v { and the other by the planes u( and v[., intersect when the
LINE COORDINATES 305
four planes pass through the same point, and only then. The
necessary and sufficient condition for this is
u, w, w, U A
= 0,
Mi K z M, U\
v[ v 2 v 8 v(
which is the same as
1 M 2 "I ^4
v l v 2 v s v
u( v( J u t
Either condition (1) or (2) is in terms of r ik ,
**/**+ r i/u+ *V44 r 3 X 2 4 Vis 4 Vu = 0, (3)
which is more compactly written as
where &&gt;(>, /) is the polar of the quadratic expression a>(r).
130. General line coordinates. Consider any six quantities x i de
nned as linear combinations of the six quantities r ik . That is, let
P*i = Via 4 Vis + a is r i4 4 a^ M + a i5 r 42 + a^g,
with the condition that the determinant of the coefficients
does not vanish. Then the relation between the quantities p ik and
x i is onetoone, and x i may be used as the coordinates of a line.
By the substitution (1) the fundamental relation &&gt;(r)= goes
into a quadratic relation of the form
^(x)=^a ik ^x k = 0. <>,,= % ) (2)
In fact, by a proper choice of the coefficients in (1), the function
f (V) may be any quadratic form of nonvanishing discriminant and,
in particular, may be a sum of the six squares x\. The proof of
this may be given as a generalization of the similar problem in
space or may be found in treatises on algebra,
By the substitution (1) the polar a>(r, r f ) goes into the polar
To prove this let r ik and r f ik represent two sets of values of the coor
dinates r ik and let x i and x\ represent the corresponding values of the
coordinates x then r ik +\r f ik corresponds to # f h\2:( for all values of \.
Therefore a> (r + X/) = (a + Xa/),
or o> (r) + 2 Xo> (r, r ) + X 2 o> (r ) = (af) + 2 Xf (z, a/) + X 2
306 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
By equating like powers of X we have
(r, r )=fO>*0
Hence the ratios of any system of six quantities #., bound by a
homogeneous quadratic relation % (x) = of nonvanishing discrimi
nant, may be taken as the coordinates of a line in space in such a
manner that the equation (x, a/) = is the necessary and sufficient
condition for the intersection of the two lines x { and x .
Of particular importance are coordinates due to Klein, to
which we shall refer as Klein coordinates. These are obtained by
the substitution
The fundamental relation is then
x* + x? + x* + xl + xl + xl = 0,
and the condition for the intersection of two lines is
131. Pencils and bundles of lines. /. If a i and b i are two inter
secting lines, then px { a { \ \b { is a line of the pencil determined by
a f and b { , and any line of the pencil may be so expressed.
The hypotheses are
00=0,
Then:
1. x i are the coordinates of a straight line, since
2. The line x i lies in the plane of a { and b i and passes through
their point of intersection. To prove this let d { be any line cutting
both a f and b r That is, d { is either a line through the intersection
of a i and 6 t . or a line in the plane of a. and b r Then f (a, d) = 0,
and f (b, d) = 0. Therefore
LINE COORDINATES 307
Hence x i intersects any and all of the lines d. and therefore lies
in the plane of a i and b t and passes through their intersection.
3. The value of X may be so taken as to give any line of the
pencil determined by a. and b^ To prove this let P be any point
of the pencil except its vertex, and let h { be a line through P but
not in the plane of a i and b r We can determine X so that
{(x, A)=f(o, A) + X(6, A)=0.
Hence x. intersects h t ; and since 7i i has only the point P in the
plane of a t and b { , and x i lies in that plane, x i passes through P and
is any line of the pencil. The theorem is completely proved.
//. If a tJ 5., and c. are three lines through the same point but not
belonging to the same pencil, then px { = a t + \b.{ pc. is a line through
the same point, and any line through that point may be so represented.
By hypothesis, f (a) = 0, f (ft) = 0, f (c) = 0, f (a, 6) = 0, ? (6, c) = 0,
f(c, a)=0. Then:
1. x i are the coordinates of some line, since f (V) = 0
2. Any line which cuts all three lines a { , 6 { , and c { cuts #,.. For,
if f(o, d)=0, f(5, d)=0, and f(c, rf) = 0, then f(>, tf)=f(a<f)
+ Xf (5, ?)+/*(<?, <?) = 0. Therefore ^ passes through the inter
section of a^ b t , c { .
3. Values of X and p may be so determined that x i may cut
any two lines g i and A t . which do not cut the lines a { , 6 { , and c t .. We
have, in fact, to determine X and ft from the two equations
#) + Xf (6, #)+ /x(c, #)= 0,
A) + Xf (6, A) 4 /if (c, A) = 0.
The theorem is therefore proved.
///. If t ., ., and Cf are any three lines in the same plane but not
belonging to the same pencil, then px { a { \ X5 f f fJLc i is a line in the
same plane, and any line in the plane may be so represented.
The proof is the same as for theorem II.
A configuration consisting of all lines through the same point
is called a bundle of lines. A configuration consisting of all lines
in a plane is a plane of lines. By the use of line coordinates we
do not distinguish between a bundle and a plane of lines. In fact
each configuration consists of a doubly infinite set of lines each of
which intersects all of the others.
308 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the cross ratio of the four points in which a straight
line meets the four planes of any tetrahedron is equal to the cross
ratio of the four planes through the line and the vertices of the
tetrahedron.
2. Prove that there are two and only two lines which intersect four
given lines in general position.
3. Prove that if the coordinates of any five lines satisfy the six
equations te, + W + w, + ,., + <*, = <*
the five lines intersect each of two fixed lines.
4. Show that if the coordinates of any four lines satisfy the six
equations n
\X t + fjUJf + VZi + pS { = 0,
any line which intersects three of them intersects the fourth, and hence
the lines are four generators of a quadric surface.
5. Show that if the coordinates of three lines are connected by the
six equations . A
\Xi + fii/i f vZf = 0,
any line which intersects two of them intersects the third. Thence
deduce that the lines are three lines of a pencil.
\ 132. Complexes, congruences, series. A line complex is a three
dimensional extent of lines. It may be, but is not necessarily,
defined by a single equation which is satisfied by the coordinates
of the lines of the complex. The order of a complex is the num
ber of its lines which lie in an arbitrary plane and pass through
an arbitrary point of the plane ; that is, it is the number of the
lines of the complex which belong to an arbitrary pencil.
A line congruence is a twodimensional extent of lines. It may
be defined by two simultaneous equations in line coordinates and
is then composed of lines common to two complexes. The order
of a congruence is the number of its lines which pass through an
arbitrary point ; its class is the number of its lines which lie in an
arbitrary plane.
A line series is a onedimensional extent of lines. It may be
defined by three simultaneous equations in line coordinates. It
then consists of lines common to three complexes. The order of a
series is the number of its lines which intersect an arbitrary line.
LINE COORDINATES 309
An equation /0*v x & x tf x s x tf x *) ~ ^
where / is a homogeneous polynomial of the nth degree in x 9
defines a line complex of the nth order. Let a i and b i be any two
fixed intersecting lines. Then a f + \&. is, by theorem I, 131, a line
of the pencil denned by a i and >., and this line will belong to the
complex (1) when X satisfies the equation
/(! + X^, a 2 + X6 2 , a g + X6 3 , 4 + X 4 , 5 + X 5 , 6 + X5 6 )= 0,
which is of the wth degree in X.
From the above it follows that through any fixed point of space
goes a configuration of lines such that n of these lines lie in each
plane through the fixed point. Since the relation between the
coordinates of the fixed point and those of any point on a line
of the complex is an analytic one, derived from (1), it follows
that any point of space is the vertex of a cone of nth order formed
~by lines of the complex.
Also if we consider a fixed plane, through every point of it go
n lines of the complex. Since, as before, we have to do with an
analytic equation, we infer that in any plane the lines of a complex
envelop a curve of the nth class.
A simple example of a line complex is that which is composed
of all lines which intersect a fixed line. For if a i are the coordi
nates of a fixed line A, the condition that a line x i should intersect
A is, by 130, f (.*)=. (2)
which is a linear equation. Hence this complex is of the first
order. In fact through an arbitrary point in an arbitrary plane
goes obviously only one line intersecting A. Through a fixed point
M goes a pencil of lines ; namely, the lines through M in the plane
determined by M and A. This is a cone of the first order. In any
plane m goes a pencil of lines ; namely, the lines through the point
in which m intersects A. These form a line extent of the first class.
Another example of a line complex is one of second order
defined by the equation
pi* + A + pi +A +pl* + A = o.
which, expressed in point coordinates, is
310 FOUKDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
This is not the equation of a surface, since it contains two sets
of point coordinates. If, however, the coordinates y { are fixed,
(4) becomes the point equation of the cone of second order formed
by lines of the complex through y..
If, dualistically, we express equation (3) in plane coordinates w t
and v i and hold v { fixed, we obtain a plane extent of second class
in U+ which is intersected by the plane v i = const, in a line extent
enveloping a curve of second class.
Through an arbitrary point in an arbitrary plane go two lines
of the complex (3).
An example of a line congruence is that of lines intersecting
two fixed lines. It is represented by two simultaneous equations
similar to (2). It is of the first order, since through any point
but one line can be passed intersecting the two fixed lines. It is
of soo^nH class, since in a fixed plane only one line can be drawn
intersecting the two fixed lines.
Another example of a line congruence consists of all lines through
a point. This is of first order and zero class. Still another example
consists of all lines in a plane. This is of zero order and first class.
An example of a line series is that of lines which intersect three
fixed lines and is represented by three linear equations of the
form (2). Such lines are one family of generators on a surface of
second order ( 96). The series is of $eee4 order, since any line
in space meets two lines of the series/""
133. The linear line complex. The equation
a i x i
where x t are general line coordinates, defines a linear line complex.
An example of such a complex is, as we have seen, that which is
composed of lines cutting a fixed line. Such a complex we call a
special linear line complex or, more concisely, simply a special complex.
The necessary and sufficient condition that (1) should represent a
special complex is that the equation (1) should be equivalent to
that is, that p* < = , (2)
where y i are the coordinates of a point and therefore satisfy the
equation fO)=0 (3)
LINE COORDINATES
311
Equations (2) can be solved for y, since the discriminant of (3)
does not vanish ( 130). The results of the solution substituted
in (3) give a relation of the form
,00=0, (4)
where rj (#) is a homogeneous quadratic polynomial in a;..
We sum up as follows :
/. A special linear complex is composed of straight lines which
intersect a fixed line called the axis of the complex. A linear equa
tion (1) defines a special complex when and only when the coefficients
a i satisfy the quadratic equation (4).
More in detail, let
f GO =2X&& (= a ) (5)
Then equations (2) are
P a n (6)
0. (7)
from which, together with (5), we have
From (6) and (7) we obtain
17 (a) =
where A ik is the cofactor of a ik in the expansion of D = \ a ik .
Then = A n <
" D
the last result coming from the solution of equations (6) for
If we have Klein coordinates
^() = a* + al + < 4 <*l + <+ <,
312 FOUKDlMMSIONAL GEOMETRY
We may sum this up in the following theorem :
//. The coordinates of the axis of the complex (1) when it is special
are If Klein coordinates are used, the coordinates of the axis of, a
da t
special complex are the coefficients in the equation of the complex.
Returning to the general linear complex (1) (special or non
special), consider any point P. If a fl b# and c i are any three lines
through P not in the same plane, then (theorem II, 131) any
line through P has coordinates a f +X& t .+ /w? t , and this line belongs
to the complex when
Equation (8) is satisfied for all values of X and /JL if the three
lines a f , b { , and c t belong to the complex. Otherwise, assuming
that c t . does not belong to the complex, we may solve (8) for p
and write the coordinates of the poiat x { in the form
where a\ and b[ are two definitely defined lines through P, and X
is arbitrary. This proves the following theorem:
///. Through any arbitrary point in space goes a pencil of lines of
the complex unless in an exceptional manner all lines through the point
belong to the complex.
The analysis would be the same if the three lines a., >., and c i
were taken as three lines in a plane, but not through the same
point (theorem III, 131). Hence
IV. In any arbitrary plane in space lies a pencil of lines of the
complex unless in an exceptional manner all lines of the plane belong
to the complex.
To complete the information given by these two theorems we
shall prove the two following:
V. If all lines through any one point P belong to the complex, the
complex is special and the point P lies on the axis of the complex.
Let all lines through P (Fig. 56) be lines of the complex. Take
h, a line not belonging to the complex, and let Q and It be two
LINE COORDINATES
313
R
\ !
FIG. 56
points of h. Through Q goes, by theorem III, a pencil of lines of
the complex of which PQ is evidently one and h is not. Similarly,
through R goes a pencil of lines of the complex of which RP is
one and h is not. These two pencils lie in different planes, for if
they lay in the same plane the line
h would lie in both pencils and
be a line of the complex, contrary
to hypothesis. The planes of the
pencils intersect in a line which
contains P. Call it c, and let S be
any point on c.
The line SP belongs to the com
plex, since, by hypothesis, all lines
through P are lines of the complex.
The line SQ belongs to the com
plex, since it lies in the plane of the pencil with the vertex Q and
passes through Q. Similarly, the line SR belongs to the complex.
Therefore we have, through the point S, three lines of the
complex which are not coplanar, since c and h are not in the
same plane. Hence, by theorem III, all lines through S belong to
the complex. But S is any point of , and since all lines which
intersect c form a complex, the
theorem is proved.
VI. If all lines of a plane be
long to the complex, the complex
is special and the plane passes
through the axis of the complex.
Let all lines of a plane m
(Fig. 57) belong to the com
plex. Take A, any line not of
the complex, and let q and r be
two planes through A, intersect
ing m in the lines mq and mr. In the plane q lies, by theorem IV,
a pencil of lines of the complex of which mq is one and h is not.
Similarly, in the plane r lies a pencil of lines of the complex
of which mr is one and h is not. These pencils have different
vertices, for otherwise they would contain h. Let c be the line
FIG. 57
314 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
connecting the vertices (e, of course, lies in m). Take s, any plane
through c intersecting q in the line qs and r in the line rs.
Then c is a line of the complex, since by hypothesis any line in
m belongs to the complex. Also qs and rs belong to the complex,
since each is a line of a pencil which has been shown to be com
posed of lines of the complex. The three lines do not pass through
the same point because qm and rm have been shown to intersect c
in different points.
Therefore, by theorem IV, all lines in * belong to the complex,
and since s was any .plane through c, all lines which intersect c
belong to the complex, and the theorem is proved.
134. Conjugate lines. Two lines are said to be conjugate, or re
ciprocal polars, with respect to a line complex when every line of
the complex which intersects one of the two lines intersects the
other also. Let the equation of the complex in Klein coordinates be
a i x i + V* + V* + "4*4 + Vs + Ve = C 1 )
and let y { and z. be the coordinates of any two lines. The condi
tions that a line x. intersect y. and z i are respectively
We seek the condition that any line x i which satisfies (1) and (2)
will satisfy (3). This condition is that a quantity X shall be found
such that s i o o <~ n^
P*i= &+ *> a i (* =1 2 3 ^ ^ 6 ) (4)
But y { and z i both satisfy the fundamental relation
Therefore, from (4), \ =  =^~ , (5)
2Ya.# t .
and (4) becomes pz i y i ~* * *g t ., (6)
5X
which define the coordinates z i of the conjugate line of any line y t .
From (5) follows at once the theorem :
/. Any line has a unique conjugate with respect to any nompecial
complex.
LINE COORDINATES 315
If the line y i belongs to the complex, then Va.?/.= and pz. = y..
Hence
//. Any line of a nonspecial complex is its own conjugate.
If the complex is special, ^P *=(). Therefore, unless also
V .?/.= 0, \ = oo and pz { = a r Hence
///. The axis of a special complex is the conjugate of any line not
belonging to the complex.
If the complex is special and the line y. belongs to it, X is
indeterminate. Hence
IV. A line of a special complex has no determinate conjugate.
The above theorems may also be proved easily by purely geo
metric methods.
If two lines have coordinates y { and z { which satisfy equations (6),
then any values of x i which satisfy (2) and (3) will also satisfy (1).
Hence
V. If two lines are conjugate with respect to a complex, any line
ivhich intersects both of them belongs to the complex.
From this theorem or from the relations (6) follows at once :
VI. Two lines .conjugate with respect to a nonspecial complex do not
intersect.
We have seen (theorem IV, 133) that in any plane m there is
a unique point P which is the vertex of the pencil of complex
lines in m. Similarly, through any point P goes a plane m which
contains the pencil of complex lines through P. When a point and
plane are so related, the point is called the pole of the plane,
and the plane is called the polar of the point.
If g and h are two conjugate lines with respect to a complex,
and P is any point on g, the pencil of lines from P to points
on h is made up of complex lines by theorem V. Hence follow
the theorems:
VII. The polar plane of a point P on a line g is the plane deter
mined by P and the conjugate line h. As P moves along g the polar
plane turns about h.
VIII. The pole of any plane m through a line g is the intersection of
m with the conjugate line h. As m turns about g its pole traverses h.
316
FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
135. Complexes in point coordinates. It is interesting and instruc
tive to consider the linear complex with the use of point coordinates.
A linear equation in general line coordinates
is equivalent to a linear equation
in p ik coordinates, and this, again, can be expressed as a bilinear
equation in point coordinates :
If in equation (3) we place y { equal to constants, the equation
becomes that of a plane m of which y. is the pole.
The plane coordinates of this plane are
(4)
and to each point y i corresponds a unique plane unless
<ia i. 14
12 23 ,4
 " M o
 M 
= 0;
that is, unless (a 12 34 4 13 42 + a 14 M ) a = 
But tff ^
fo rm which 77(0;) takes for the p i
coordinates. Hence we have a verification of the fact that in a
nonspecial complex any plane has a unique pole.
Let us take two conjugate lines as the edges AB (x^= 0, x 2 = 0),
and CD (# 8 = 0, x^= 0) of the tetrahedron of reference for the point
coordinates. This can always be done by a collineation which
obviously amounts to a linear substitution of the line coordinates.
If : : y 3 : y^ is a point P on AB, its polar plane is, by (3),
LINE COORDINATES 317
This plane must pass through CD for all values of y z and y f
Hence a 13 = a u = a 42 = # 23 = 0, and the line complex reduces to
where neither of the coefficients can be zero if the complex is
nonspecial.
It is possible to make the ratio a u : a 34 equal to 1 by a colline
ation of space. To see this, note that if we place
then p[ 2 = a i 2 Pi2> an d / > 34 = ~~ a 34/ ) 34 an d ^ ne equation of the com
plexbecomes
Consider now a special complex, and let its axis be taken as
the line AB (2^=0, x 2 = 0), the line coordinates of which are
Piz ~ Pis Pu j42 = ^23 ^ The condition that a line should inter
sect this line is, by (1), 129,
We may sum up in the following theorem :
By a projective transformation of space the equation of any special
complex may be brought into the form
p 12 =
and that of any nonspecial complex into the form
136. Complexes in Cartesian coordinates. We shall now consider
the properties and equations of line complexes with the use of
Cartesian coordinates x.y:z:t, by which the plane at infinity is
unique and metrical properties come into evidence.
For special complexes we have two cases, according as the axis
is or is not at infinity. In the former case the lines which inter
sect it are parallel to a fixed plane. Hence
In Cartesian geometry the special line complex consists either of all
lines which intersect a fixed line or of all lines which are parallel to a
fixed plane.
318 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Consider a nonspecial complex. In the plane at infinity is a
unique point I, the pole of the plane. The lines of space which
pass through I form a set of parallel lines not belonging to the
complex. These are called the diameters of the complex. Each
diameter is conjugate to a line at infinity, since the conjugate to a
diameter must meet all the pencil of lines of the complex whose
vertex is I. Conversely, any line at infinity not through I has a
diameter as its conjugate. In other words, the polar planes of points
on a diameter are parallel planes, and the poles of any pencil of paral
lel planes lie on a diameter.
Consider now the pencil of parallel planes formed by planes
which are perpendicular to the diameters. Their poles lie in a
diameter which is unique. Therefore there is in each nonspecial
complex a unique diameter, called the axis, which has the property of
being perpendicular to the polar planes of all points in it.
Referring to (4), 135, if we replace xjxjxjx^ by x\y\z\t,
the pole of the plane at infinity is given by the equations
which have the solution
x:y:z:t = a 2S :a ls :a l2 :Q. (1)
Any line through the point (1) is therefore a diameter, and if
0*V y\"> z i) * s an y nn ite point of space, the equation of the diameter
through it is
xx^ = yy^ = zz^
a <x ~ a u ~ a n
The polar plane of (x^, y^, z^) is, by (4), 135,
The line (1) is perpendicular to the plane (2) when
Consequently, if (x^ y^ z^) in (3) are replaced by variable
coordinates (x, y, z), equation (3) becomes the Cartesian equation
of the axis of the complex.
LINE COORDINATES 319
Let us take this axis as the axis of z. Then, from (1), 2g = 0,
a w~ an d> from (3), since the origin of coordinates is on the axis,
a u = a 42 = The equation of the complex is then
which agrees with (5), 135.
In Cartesian coordinates equation (4) is
xy x y + k(zz ) = Q, (5)
which associates to any point (V, y , z ) its polar plane.
From (5) it is obvious that the polar plane of P (x , y , z )
contains the line xy x y = Q, z=z , which is the line through
P perpendicular to the axis. The normal to the plane makes with
k Va/ 2  y 12 r
the axis the angle cos" 1  = tan" 1  y = tan" 1 
Vz 2 +y 2 + & 2 k k
where r is the distance from P to the axis. This leads to the
following result:
The polar plane of any point P contains the line through P
perpendicular to the axis. If P is on the axis, its polar plane is per
pendicular to the axis. As P recedes from the axis along a line
perpendicular to it, the normal plane turns about this perpendicular,
the direction and amount of rotation depending upon the sign and the
value of k. If P moves along a line parallel to the axis, its polar
plane moves parallel to itself.
Any line of a complex may be denned by a point (#, y, z) and
its neighboring point (x + dx, y + dy, z + dz). If in (5) we place
x = x + dx, y = y + dy, z = z f dz, we have
xdy ydx kdz = 0, (6)
which may be called the differential equation of the complex.
Equation (6) is of the type called nonintegrable, in the sense
that no solution of the form f(x, y, z, c) = can be found for it.
It is satisfied, however, in the first place, by straight lines whose
equations are
z = c, y = mx. (7)
In the second place, on any cylinder with the equation
^+/=a 2 (8)
may be found curves whose direction at any point satisfies (6).
320 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
For the direction of any curve on (8) satisfies the equation
and this equation combined with (6) gives the solution
Q
(9)
K X
2 7T& 2
which are the equations of helixes with the pitch .
K
It appears from the preceding that any tangent line to a helix
of the form (9) is a straight line of the complex. We shall now
prove, conversely, that any line of the complex, excepting only
the lines (7), is tangent to such a helix.
Since z is assumed not to be constant, we may take the equation
of any line not in the form (7) as
x = mz + 5, y = nz+p, (10)
with the condition bn pm = &, which is necessary and sufficient
in order that equations (10) should satisfy (6).
The distance of a point (x^ y^ z^) on (10) from OZ is
2 (mb + np) *! +
It is easily computed that this distance is a minimum when
mb 4 np nk mk
~ ~
k
The minimum distance is == , which we shall take as a in
Vw 2 +7i 2
the equations of the helix (9). The direction of the helix at the
point (^, y^ z^) is ^
dx : dy : dz = y^. x^: = m : n : 1.
This is the direction of the line (10), and our proposition is proved.
We have, therefore, the following theorem :
A linear nonspecial complex may be considered as made up of the
tangents to the helixes drawn upon cylinders whose axes coincide with
2 7T# 2
the axis of the complex, the pitch of each helix being  , where a is
K
the radius of the cylinder and k the parameter of the complex.
LINE COORDINATES 321
137. The bilinear equation in point coordinates. The equation
2>**<y*=o (i)
is the most general equation which is linear in each of the two
sets of point coordinates (x^i x 2 : x s : # 4 ) and (y^y^y^y^)*
By means of (1) a definite plane is associated to each point
y^ its equation being obtained by holding y i constant in (1).
Similarly, to each point x i is associated a definite plane.
In this book we have met two important examples of equation (1).
I. a ki = a ik . Equation (1) then associates to each point y { its
polar plane with respect to the quadric surface
The pole does not in general lie in its polar plane. Exceptions
occur only when the pole is on the quadric.
II. a ki = a ik \ whence a n = 0. Equation (1) associates to each
point y { its polar plane with respect to the line complex
The point y { always lies in its polar plane. This association
of point and plane forms a null system, mentioned in 102, and here
connected with the line complex.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that a complex is determined by any five lines, provided
that they are intersected by no line.
2. Prove that a complex is determined by a pair of conjugate lines
and any line not intersecting these two.
3. Prove that a complex is determined by two pairs of conjugate lines.
4. Prove that if a line describes a plane pencil its conjugate also
describes a plane pencil, and if a line describes a quadric surface its
conjugate does also.
5. Prove that a complex (or null system) is in general determined by
any three points and their polar planes.
6. Prove that any two pairs of polar lines lie on the same quadric
surface.
7. Prove that the conjugate to the axis of a nonspecial complex is
the polar with respect to the imaginary circle at infinity of the pole of
the plane at infinity with respect to the complex.
322 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
138. The linear line congruence. Two simultaneous linear equa
tions in line coordinates,
=0, (1)
define a congruence. Evidently equations (1) are satisfied by all
lines common to two linear complexes. But all lines which belong
to the two complexes defined by equations (1) belong also to
all complexes of the pencil
(X.+ Xft) *,= <), (2)
and the congruence can be defined by any two complexes obtained
by giving X two values in (2).
A complex defined by (2) is special when
that is, when rj (a) + 2 XT; (a, ) + \ 2 rj () = 0. (3)
In general equation (3) has two distinct roots. Hence we have
the theorem:
In general the linear congruence consists of straight lines which
intersect two fixed straight lines.
The two fixed lines are called the directrices of the congruence.
The directrices are evident conjugate lines with respect to any
nonspecial complex defined by equation (2).
If the roots of equation (3) are equal, the congruence has only
one directrix and is called a special congruence. This congruence
consists of lines which intersect the directrix and also belong to
a nonspecial complex. It is clear that the directrix must be a
line of this nonspecial complex, for otherwise it would have a
conjugate line and the congruence would be nonspecial. Hence
a special congruence consists of lines which intersect a fixed line and
such that through any point of the fixed line goes a pencil of con
gruence lines, the fixed line being in all cases a line of the pencil.
As the vertex of the pencil moves along the directrix, the plane
of the pencil turns about the directrix.
We have seen that a nonspecial congruence may be defined by
its directrices. If the directrices intersect, the congruence separates
LINE COORDINATES 323
into two sets of lines, one being all lines in the plane of the direc
trices (a congruence of first order and zero class), and the other
being all lines through the point of intersection of the directrices
(a congruence of zero order and first class).
When the directrices do not intersect, the congruence is one of
first order and first class.
139. The cylindroid. We have seen that every linear complex has
an axis. In a pencil of linear complexes given by equation (2),
138, there are, therefore, <x> l axes which form a surface called
a cylindroid. We may find the equation of the cylindroid in the
following manner:
Let us take as the axis OZ the line which is perpendicular to
the directrices of the two special complexes of the pencil, as
the origin the point halfway between the two directrices, as the
plane XOY the plane parallel to the two directrices, and as OX
and OY the lines in this plane which bisect the angles between
the two directrices. That is, we have so chosen the axes of refer
ences that the equations of the two directrices of the special
complexes of the pencil are
ymx=0, z = c 9 (1)
and y f mx = 0, z = c, (2)
respectively.
The Pliicker coordinates of the line (1), which may be deter
mined by the points (0, 0, c) and (1, m, c), are
*,(!)__ m (1 >t nM 1 n^ 1 ) nmt* vP> nm ^(D
Pl2 v Pis ~ L i Pl4 *1 Pv& mc< > P*2 m Ps* U >
and the special complex with this axis is therefore, by (1), 129,
mp 13  mcp u p 23  cpu = 0.
Similarly, the coordinates of (2) are
/a) _ (2) c (2) 1 rP } mc > (2) ra (2)
Pii v, Pis c i Pu M Pzs mc i Ptz <"> Pwv)
and the special complex with this axis is
 mp u  mcpu  p 2B + cpu = 0.
The pencil of complexes is therefore
(1  X) mp u  (1 + X) mcp u  (1 + \)p M $ (1  X) cp 4 , = 0.
324 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
By (3), 136, the equations of the axis of any complex of the
pencil are
X)
which reduce to y = ^  mx,
L p A,
[(1  X)W + (1 + X) 2 ] g = (1  X 2 ) (1 + w 2 ) g.
If we eliminate X from these equations, we have
c ^ = 0, (3)
which is the required equation of the cylindroid.
The equations show that the surface is a cubic surface with OZ
as a double line. All lines on the surface are perpendicular to OZ,
and in any plane perpendicular to OZ there are two lines on the
surface which are distinct, coincident, or imaginary according as
the distance of the plane from is less than, equal to, or greater
(l + w 2 )c
than ^   ^.
2m
We may put the equation of the cylindroid in another form. We
shall denote by 2 a the angle between the directrices of the special
complexes of the pencil, by the angle which any straight line
on the cylindroid makes with OX, and by r the distance of that
line from 0. Then m = tan a, and   m = tan 6.
Equation (3) then becomes
_ sin 20
sin 2 a
140. The linear line series. Consider three independent linear
equations _ Q> ^ ^ .^ 0.
These equations are satisfied by the coordinates of lines which
are common to the three complexes defined by the individual
equations in (1) and define a line series. Any line of the series
also belongs to each complex of the set given by the equation
LINE COORDINATES 325
and any three linearly independent equations formed from (2) by
giving to X, /A, and v definite values determine the same line series
that is determined by (2).
A complex of the type (2) is special when
77 (\a f fji/3 + 1/7) = X 2 77 O) H //, 2 77 (0) + z> 2 77 (7) + 2 X/A77 (#, 0)
+ 2 w (0, 7) 4 2 ^77 (7, a) = 0. (3)
There are a singly infinite number of solutions of equation (3)
in the ratios X : //, : v. Hence the lines which are defined by equa
tions (1) intersect an infinite number of straight lines, the axes
of the special complexes defined by (2) and (3). These lines are
called the directrices.
The arrangement of the directrices depends upon the nature of
equation (3). In studying that equation we may temporarily in
terpret X : fji : v as homogeneous point coordinates of a point in a
plane and classify equation (3) as in 35.
Let us place , , , .
77 O) 770, 0) 770,7)
770,7) 77(0,7) 17(7)
CASE I. D =#= 0. This is the general case. Equation (3), inter
preted as an equation in point coordinates X : p : v, is that of a conic
without singular points. To any point on this conic corresponds a
special complex of the type (2) whose axis is a directrix of the
series (1). To simplify our equations we shall assume that the
coordinates x { are Klein coordinates. Then (by theorem II, 133)
if (X 1 : ^ : i/j) and (X 2 : /* 2 : i> 2 ) are two solutions of equation (2),
the axes of the corresponding special complexes, or, in other words,
the corresponding directrices of the series (1), are X^f A t 1 t + v t y.
and X;2#j /x 2 0jf v<fYi.
The condition that these two directrices intersect is
which is exactly the same as the condition that each of the two points
(X x : p l : i/ t ) and (X 2 : ft 2 : v^) should lie on the polar of the other with
respect to the conic (3). This is impossible, since each of the points
lies on the conic. It follows from this that no two directrices intersect.
From this it will also follow that no two lines of the given series
intersect, for if they did each directrix must either lie in their
326
FOUKDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
plane or pass through their common point, and some of the
directrices would intersect.
The lines of the series (1), on the one hand, and their direc
trices, on the other, form, therefore, two families of lines such that
no two lines of the same family intersect, but each line of one
family intersects all lines of the other. This suggests the two fam
ilies of generators on a quadric surface. That the configuration
is really that of a quadric surface follows from the theorem that
the locus of lines which intersect three nonintersecting straight
lines is a quadric surface (see Ex. 6, p. 327).
We sum up in the following words :
In the general case (Z> = 0) the lines which are common to three
linear complexes form one family of generators of a quadric surface,
their directrices forming the second family.
A family of generators of a quadric surface is called a regulus.
CASE II. D = 0, but not all the first minors are zero. The curve
of second order defined by (3) reduces to two intersecting straight
lines and, by a linear substitution, can be reduced to the form
X/40.
To do that we must define the series by three complexes such that
0, *?(>)= > iK&,<0=0, i/O, = 0, 17 (,)*=<).
These are three special com
plexes such that the axes of
the first two do not intersect,
but the axis of the third inter
sects each of the axes of the
first two. The axes lie, there
fore, as in Fig. 58. The series
consists, therefore, of two pen
cils of lines : one lying in the
plane of a and c, with its vertex at F 1 , the point of intersection
of b and c ; the other lying in the plane of b and c, with its vertex
at F, the intersection of a and c.
CASE III. D = 0, all the first minors are zero, but not all the
second minors are zero. The conic defined by (3) consists of two
coincident lines. Its equation may be made v 2 = 0.
FIG. 58
LINE COORDINATES 327
We have then taken to define the series three complexes of
which two are special with intersecting axes, and the third is non
special and contains the axis of the other two.
If a and b are the two axes of the special complexes, F their
point of intersection, and m their common plane, then, since the
nonspecial complex contains a and 6, F is the pole of m with
respect to that complex. Hence the lines common to the two
complexes form a pencil of lines which must be taken double to
preserve the order of the complex.
CASE IV. The case in which all the second minors of D vanish is
inadmissible, for in that case the three complexes in (1) are special
and their axes intersect. Then, from 131, y.= a t + v/3 i9 and the
three equations (1) are not independent.
EXERCISES
Two complexes f ajc i = Q and ^.bjK i = are in involution when
1. Prove that if p is a line common to two complexes in involution
the correspondence of planes through p, which can be set up by taking
as corresponding planes the two polar planes of each point of p with
respect to the two complexes, is an involution.
2. Prove that two special complexes are in involution when their
axes intersect.
3. Prove that a special complex is in involution with a nonspecial
complex when the axis of the former is a line of the latter.
4. Prove that if two nonspecial complexes are in involution there
exist two lines, g and /*, which are conjugate with respect to the two
and such that the polar planes of any point P are harmonic conjugates
with respect to the two planes through P and g and through P and h
respectively, and also such that the poles of any plane in with respect
to the two complexes are harmonic conjugates to the points in which m
meets g and h.
5. Prove that the six complexes a\ = 0, where x { are Klein coordi
nates, are two by two in involution. Hence prove by a transformation
of coordinates that there exists an infinite number of such sets of six
complexes mutually in involution.
6. Prove that the locus of lines which intersect three nonintersecting
lines is a quadric surface, by using Pliicker coordinates and eliminating
one set of point coordinates.
328 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
141. The quadratic line complex. A quadratic line complex is
defined by an equation of the form
We shall consider only the general case in which the above
equation can be reduced to the form
at the same time that the coordinates x i are Klein coordinates
satisfying the fundamental relation
2>HO. (2)
Let us consider any fixed line y i of the complex and any linear
com P lex
containing y^ In general the complex (3) will have two lines
through any point P in common with (1), for P is at the same
time the vertex of a pencil of lines of (3) and of a cone of lines
of (1).
Analytically, we take P, a point on y { , and z { , any line of (3),
but not of (1), through P. Then any line of the pencil determined
by y. and z. is , ,.
W^Jfi+Xjyi
and this line always belongs to (3), but belongs to (1) when and
only when
This gives in general two values of X, of which one, X = 0, deter
mines the line y { and the other determines a different line. But
the two values of X both become zero, and the line y t is the only
line through P common to (1) and (3) when
that is, when z. has been chosen as any line of the linear complex
5) W<= 0. (4)
In this case the polar plane of P with respect to (4) is tangent to
the complex cone of (1) at P, where P is any point whatever of y { .
The complex (4) is accordingly called the tangent linear complex
at y ( . It is often said that the tangent linear complex contains all
LINE COORDINATES 329
lines of the complex (1) which are consecutive to y^ since any line
with coordinates y { + dy i satisfies (4). The discussion we have given
makes this notion more precise.
More generally we have at y { a pencil of tangent linear com
plexes. For by virtue of (2) the complex (1) may be written
0, (5)
where /JL is any constant, and the tangent linear complex to (5) is
0. (6)
All these complexes have the same polar plane at any point P of y { .
If y. is not a line of the complex, equation (6) defines a pencil
of polar linear complexes.
The line # t . is called a singular line when the tangent linear
complex (4) is special. The condition for this is
?= 0, (7)
which says that c i y i are the coordinates of a line, the axis of the
tangent complex. At the same time all the complexes (6) are special
and have the same axis.
This axis intersects y^ since ^<?#J= (because y. is a line of the
complex), and the intersection of the two lines is called a singular
point, and their plane a singular plane. Any complex line y. for
which condition (7) holds is called a singular line.
Let P be a singular point on a singular line y it let z. be any line
through P, and consider the pencil of lines
/>*,.= &+**< (8)
The condition that x i belong to (1) is
0, (9)
since c i yf = 0, because y i is on (1), and ]} <?,#&= 0, because z.
intersects c i y i at P. Then if z. is a line of (1), all lines of the pencil
(8) belong to (1). On the other hand, if z i is any line not belonging
to the complex (1), the line y. is the only line in the plane (j/<2 t )
which belongs to the complex. This makes it evident that at a
singular point the complex cone splits up into two plane pencils
intersecting in the singular line.
330 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In a similar manner we may take p as a singular plane through
a singular line y^ z { , any line in p intersecting y { , and again con
sider the pencil (8). We obtain again (9), but the interpretation is
now that if z { is any complex line in p, there is a pencil of lines in
p with vertex on y t . Consequently in a singular plane the complex
conic splits up into two pencils to which the singular line is common.
We shall now show that any point at which the complex cone
splits into two pencils is a singular point and any plane in which
the complex conic splits into two pencils is a singular plane.
Let A be such a point, and let the two pencils be a.+ \b { arid
a i f fjLSf. Then
2^;= o, 2)<?M= > 5) w<=  ( 10 >
The tangent complex at a i contains a t ., 6 { , and e { by (10). There
fore, by theorem V, 133, it is special, and the point A lies on its
axis. Hence A is a singular point. The second part of the theorem
is similarly proved.
Now let a. and b t be two intersecting complex lines. Then
If the pencil a i + \b t belongs entirely to the complex we have also
V c.ab.= 0. (12^
/ ill XX
We shall fix a i and take as b { that line of the pencil which
intersects a fixed line d { which does not intersect a t .
0, 2>A*0. (13)
To determine b i we have five equations of which
three are linear and two quadratic. There are there
fore in general four sets of values of b { , so that on
any line of the complex there are in general four
singular points.
Let the four points be A^ A^ A^ A^ (Fig. 59) and
the four lines be & , V, b" 1 , b"". Then each of the
planes (& ), ("), (& "), (ab"") contains a pencil
of lines and hence a second one distinct or coincident.
Therefore through any line on the complex there are four singular planes.
Since the coordinates of the four lines b i satisfy three linear
equations, the lines belong in general to a regulus ( 140) and do
LINE COORDINATES 331
not intersect. Therefore the four points A are in general distinct,
as are the four planes (#6). In order that two points or planes
should coincide it is necessary that the regulus should degenerate,
as in Case II, 140. The condition for this is that the discriminant
of the equation
X 2 5>?+ rt^ti+^W + 2 \r%aA+2 ^2> A 4+2 v^crf =
should vanish. By virtue of (11), and the fact that d { satisfies (2),
the above equation reduces to
= ;
and the condition that its discriminant should vanish is
since ]a t 4^ 0, by (13).
If this condition is met, a i is a singular line by the previous
definition, two of the points A^ A^ A^ A^ coincide into one sin
gular point on ., and two of the singular planes coincide. More
precisely, if A l and A 2 coincide at A the pencils (> ) and (ab")
form the complex cone at A, the two lines b fff and b"" intersect on d
(compare 140), and the points A s and A 4 are the vertices of the
pencils of complex lines in the plane (ab 1 " I"").
142. Singular surface of the quadratic complex. The singular
points and planes are determined by the complex line y { and the
intersecting line c { y { , where ^ 6 ^~ ^
We take the pencil
Then z t satisfies the equations
or, what amounts to the same thing, the equations
v z\ = o, V  2 2? = o. (i)
Equation (1) shows that z i is a singular line of the complex
332 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Since the lines z i and belong to the same pencil as y.
.+ X
and cgji, the singular points and planes of (2) are the same as
those of **cpl = 0, no matter what the value of X. The com
plexes (2) are called cosingular complexes.
We may use the cosingular complexes to prove that on any line
in space lie four singular points of the complex .cjx% = 0, and through
any line go four singular planes.
Let I be any line in space. We may determine X in (2) so
that / lies in the complex (2); in fact, this may be done in four
ways, since (2) is of the fourth order in X by virtue of the relation
V# t 2 = 0. Then there will be four singular points of this new com
plex on I by previous proof, and these points are the same as the
singular points of ^?CJK? = 0.
It follows at once that the locus of the singular points of a quad
ratic complex ^ c i x f = * * a surface of the fourth order, and the
envelope of the singular planes is a surface of the fourth class.
These two surfaces, however, are the same surface. For if two of
the singular points on I coincide, two of the singular planes through
I also coincide. Therefore, if I is tangent to one of the surfaces it
is tangent to the other. But I is any line. Therefore the two sur
faces have the same tangent lines and therefore coincide.
This surface, the locus of the singular points and the envelope
of the singular planes, is called the singular surface.
We shall not pursue further the study of the singular surface.
Its Cartesian equation may be written down by first transform
ing from Klein to P Kicker coordinates and replacing the latter
by their values in the coordinates of two points (x, y, z) and
(x , y , z ~). Then, if (x 1 , y , z ~) is constant, the equation is that
of the complex cone through (x , y , z ). The condition that this
cone should degenerate into a pair of planes is the Cartesian equa
tion of the singular surface. It may be shown that the surface
has sixteen double points and sixteen double tangent planes
and is therefore identical with the interesting surface known as
Rummer s surface.*
* Cf. SalmonRogers, "Analytic Geometry of Three Dimensions," and Hudson,
" Rummer s Quartic Surface." The latter book contains as frontispiece a photo
graph of the surface.
LINE COORDINATES 333
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the tangent lines of a fixed quadric surface form a
quadratic complex. Find the singular surface. Note the peculiarities
when the quadric is a sphere.
2. Prove that the lines which intersect the four faces of a fixed tet
rahedron in points whose cross ratio is constant form a quadratic com
plex whose equation may be written Ap 12 p M + Bpi 3 P 42 + c PuPm 
This is the tetrahedral complex.
3. Prove that in a tetrahedral complex all lines through any vertex
or lying in any plane of the fixed tetrahedron belong to the complex.
Find the singular surface.
4. Show that lines, each of which meets a pair of corresponding lines
of two projective pencils, form a tetrahedral complex.
5. Show that the lines connecting corresponding points of a collinea
tion form a tetrahedral complex.
6. If the coordinates of two lines x t and y i are connected by the
relations
005,=
show that Xi belongs to the complex *CJK* = and that y { belongs to
the cosingular complex
7. If x i and x\ are two lines of a complex C, and y { and y\ their
corresponding lines, as in Ex. 6, of a cosingular complex C\, prove the
following propositions :
(1) If Xi intersects y\, then x\ intersects y L .
(2) If Xi intersects x\ at P, and y i intersects y\ at Q, the complex
cone of C at P and the complex cone of C A at Q degenerate into plane
pencils, and to a pencil of either complex corresponds a pencil of
the other.
(3) If x { intersects x\ at P, in general y { does not intersect y\, and the
complex cone of C at P corresponds to a regulus of C\. Also the com
plex conic in the plane of x { and x\ corresponds to a regulus of C A .
(4) Any two lines x i and x[ of C which do not intersect determine a
cosingular complex C\ in which the two lines y { and y it corresponding
to x { and x { , intersect. There are, therefore, two reguli of C through x {
and x\ corresponding to the complex cone and the complex conic of C A
determined by y { and y\.
334 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
8. Prove that for an algebraic complex f(x v oj a , jc 8 , 4 , x 5 , x 6 ) = of
the degree n the singular lines are given by the equations
and that the singular surface is of degree 2 n (n I) 2 , where singular
line and surface are defined as for the quadratic complex.
143. Pliicker s complex surfaces. In any arbitrarily assumed
plane the lines which belong to a given quadratic complex envelop
a conic. If the plane revolves about a fixed line, the conic describes
a surface called by Pliicker a meridian surface of the complex.
If the plane moves parallel to itself, the conic describes a sur
face called by Pliicker an equatorial surface of the complex. It is
obvious that an equatorial surface is only a particular case of
the meridian surface arising when the line about which the plane
revolves is at infinity. In either case the surface has been called a
complex surface.
It is not difficult to write down the equation of a complex sur
face. Let the line about which the plane revolves be determined
by two fixed points, A and B, let P be any point in space, and let
u t and v t be the coordinates of the lines PA and BP respectively.
Then the coordinates of any line of the pencil defined by PA
and PB are u { + \v { , and this line will belong to the quadratic
complex ^\c { xf = when X satisfies the equation
, + 2 X W( + X 2> ( " = 0. (1)
In general there are two roots of this equation, corresponding to
the geometric fact that in any plane through a fixed point there
are only two complex lines, the two tangents to the complex conic
in that plane. If, however, P is on that conic, the roots of (1)
must be equal ; that is
Now u { involves the point coordinates of A and P linearly, and
v { involves in a similar manner the coordinates of B and P. Hence
(2) is of the fourth order in the point coordinates of P.
From the construction P is any point on the complex surface
formed by the revolving plane about the line AB. Hence Pliicker s
complex surfaces are of the fourth order.
LIKE COORDINATES 335
We may work in the same way with plane coordinates ; that
is, we may define a straight line by the intersection of two fixed
planes, a and /3, and take M as any plane in space. Then the three
planes fix a point on , and equation (1) determines the two lines
through that point in the plane M which belong to the quadratic
complex. Hence, if the coordinates of M satisfy equation (2), M is
tangent to the complex cone through that point on I. A little
reflection shows that such a plane is tangent to the complex sur
face formed by revolving a plane about the line I and that any
tangent plane to the complex surface is tangent to a cone of com
plex lines with its vertex on I. Hence (2) is the equation in plane
coordinates of the complex surface. Therefore a complex surface
is of the fourth class.
144. The (2, 2) congruence. Consider the congruence defined by
the two equations
* = 0, (1)
2>,^=0, (2)
which consists of lines common to a linear and a quadratic
complex. Through every point of space go two lines of the con
gruence ; namely, those common to the pencil of lines of (1) and
the complex cone of (3) through that point. Similarly, in every
plane lie two congruence lines which are common to the pencil
of (1) and the conic of (2) in that plane. The complex is there
fore of second order and second class and is called the (2, 2)
congruence.
Consider any line y { of the congruence, and P any point on it.
Through P there will go in an exceptional manner only one con
gruence line, when the polar plane of P with respect to (1) coincides
with the polar plane of P with respect to the tangent linear com
plex of (2) at y.. This will occur at two points on y.. This may
be seen without analysis from the fact that to every point on y i
may be associated two planes through y i ; namely, the polar planes
with respect to (1) and to the tangent linear complex at y.. Hence
these planes are in a onetoone correspondence, and there are two
fixed points of such a correspondence.
Analytically, if the complex (1) and the tangent linear complex
of (2) have at P any line z,. in common distinct from y., they will
336 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
have the entire pencil y { + \z { in common. The conditions for
this are
This determines a line series which, by 140, degenerates into
two plane pencils with vertices on y..
The points on y i with the properties just described are called
the focal points F^ and F Z of y { , and the planes of the common
pencil of (1) and the tangent linear complex of (3) are called
the focal planes f^ and / 2 . The focal points are often described
as the points in which y. is intersected by a consecutive line. The
meaning of this is evident from our discussion. For at F l and F Z
the pencil of lines of (1) is tangent to the complex cone of (2), so
that through F l or F z goes only one line of the congruence doubly
reckoned.
The locus of the focal points is the focal surface. It will be
shown in the next section that the line y i is tangent to the focal
surface at each of the points F l and F^ and that the planes f^ and
/ are tangent to the same surface at F Z and F l respectively.
145. Line congruences in general. A congruence of lines consists
of lines whose coordinates are functions of two independent vari
ables. For convenience we will return to the coordinates first
mentioned in 127 and, writing the equation of a line in the form
x = rz 4 , y = pz + (r, (1)
will take r, s, /a, and a as the coordinates of the line. Then, if
r, , /3, a are functions of two independent variables a, /3, the lines
(1) form a congruence.
Let I be a line of the congruence for which a = , fi = f$ Q . If we
we arrange the lines into ruled surfaces ; and if we further impose
on </>() the single condition
LINE COORDINATES 337
we shall have all ruled surfaces which are formed of lines of the
congruence and which pass through I.
It is desired to know how many of these surfaces are develop
ables. For this it is necessary and sufficient that there exist a
curve C to which each of the lines of the surface are tangent. The
lines of the surface being determined by (1), (2), and (3), the
coordinates of C are functions of a. The direction dx: dy. dz of C
therefore satisfies the equations
dx = rdz \zdr\ ds,
dy p dz + zdp f dcr,
(dr dr \
4 < (#) ) da, and similar expressions hold for
dec dp )
ds, dp, dcr. On the other hand, the direction of the straight line (1)
is given by ,
dx = rdz, dy = p dz,
so that if the straight line and curve are tangent, z must satisfy
the two equations
zdr + ds = 0, zdp + do = 0,
and therefore we must have .
dpds drdcr 0.
If we replace dr, ds, dp, dor by their values, we have as an equation
for < one which can be reduced to the form
Aft 2 (a) + J5< (a) + <7 = 0.
From this equation with the initial conditions (3) we determine
two functions </>(). They have been obtained as necessary con
ditions for the existence of the developable surface through I, but
it is not difficult to show that if <() is thus determined, the devel
opable surface really exists. Hence we have the theorem :
Through any line of a congruence go two developable surfaces
formed by lines of the congruences.
Of course it is not impossible that the two surfaces should coin
cide, but in general they will not, and we shall continue to discuss
the general case.
To the two developable surfaces through I belong two curves
C l and C z , the cuspidal edges to which the congruence lines are
338 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
tangent. The points F l and F^ at which I is tangent to C l and C 2 ,
are the focal points on I. The locus of the focal points is the focal
surface.
It is obvious that any line of the congruence is tangent to the
focal surface, for it is tangent to the cuspidal edge of the devel
opable to which it belongs, and the cuspidal edge lies on the
focal surface.
Let the line I be tangent to the focal surface at F l and F^ and
let Cj be the cuspidal edge to which I is tangent at F^ Displace I
slightly along C l into the position I tangent to C 1 at F[. The line
I is tangent to the focal surface again at F, and the line F Z F! Z is
a chord of the focal surface. As the point F[ approaches F l along
CP the chord F^F^ approaches a tangent to the focal surface at F 21
and the plane of I and V therefore approaches a tangent plane to
the focal surface at F z . But this plane is also the osculating plane
of the curve (7 1 . Hence the osculating plane of the curve C l at F I is
tangent to the focal surface at F^.
An interesting and important example of a line congruence is
found in the normal lines to any surface, for the normal is fully
determined by the two variables which fix a point of the surface.
Through any normal go two developable surfaces which cut out
on the given surface two curves which are called lines of curvature.
These curves may also be defined as curves such that normals to
the given surfaces at two consecutive points intersect, for this is
only one way of saying that the normals form a developable
surface. Through any point of the surface go then two lines of
curvature.
The two focal points on any normal are the centers of curvature.
The distance from the focal points to the surface are the principal
radii of curvature, and the focal surface is the surface of centers
of curvature. The study of these properties belongs properly to
the branch of geometry called differential geometry and lies out
side the plan of this book. We will mention without proof the
important theorem that the lines of curvature are orthogonal.
We shall, however, find room for one more theorem ; namely,
that a congruence of lines normal to one surface is normal to the
family of surfaces which cut off equal distances on every normal
measured from points of the first surface.
LINE COORDINATES 339
Let us write the equations of the normal in the form
x = a f Zr,
y = P + mr, (4)
z = 7 + nr,
where (#, /3, 7) is a point of a surface S; l,m,n the direction cosines
of the normal to S; and r the distance from S to a point P of the
normal. Then
whence Zt?/ f ?ft dm + n^w = 0.
We have also Ida f widft + ndy = 0,
since the line is normal to S.
Suppose, now, we displace the normal slightly, but hold r constant.
The point P goes into the point (x f dx, y + dy, z f dz), where,
from (4),
dx = da + rdl,
dy = dp + rdm,
dz dj f rdn ;
whence Idx \ mdy + ndz 0.
That is, the displacement of P takes place in a direction normal
to the line (4). From this it follows that the locus of points at a
normal distance r from $ is another surface cutting each normal
orthogonally, which is the theorem to be proved.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the focal points upon a line I of a congruence can be
denned as the points at which all ruled surfaces which pass through /,
and are composed of lines of the congruence, are tangent.
2. Show that the singular lines of a quadratic complex form a con
gruence, and that the singular surface of the complex is one nappe of
the focal surface of the congruence.
3. Show that in general there does not exist a surface normal to the
lines of a congruence, and that the necessary and sufficient condition
that such a surface exists is that the two developable surfaces through
any line of the congruence are orthogonal.
340 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
4. Show that if a ruled surface is composed of lines of a linear
complex, on any line of the surface there are two points at which the
tangent plane of the surface is the polar plane of the complex.
5. Consider any congruence of curves defined by
/ 2 (jc, y, z, a, &)=0,
and define as surfaces of the congruence surfaces formed by collecting
the congruence curves into surfaces according to any law. Show that
on any congruence curve C there exists a certain number of focal points
such that all surfaces of the congruence which contain C are tangent
at these points.
6. Prove that if the curves in Ex. 5 are so assembled as to have an
envelope, the envelope is composed of focal points.
CHAPTER XVIII
SPHERE COORDINATES
146. Elementary sphere coordinates. Another simple example of
a geometric figure determined by four parameters is the sphere.
We may take the quantities d, e, f, r, which fix the center and
radius of the sphere
(xd)*+(jf e y+(zf?=s, (i)
as the coordinates of the sphere, and obtain a fourdimensional
geometry in which the sphere is the element.
It is more convenient, however, to use the pentaspherical coor
dinates x i of a point and take the ratios of the coefficients . in
the equation A
Vi + Va + Vs + V* + V* = ( 2 )
of a sphere as the sphere coordinates. This is essentially the same
as taking c?, e, f, and r. In fact, if x i are the coordinates of 117,
then by (4), 117, equation (2) can be written
Oi + K) ^ + f + * 2 ) + 2 V + 2^+2 a 4 z  <X  ifl 6 ) =0, (3)
and the connection with (1) is obvious.
By 119 two spheres are orthogonal when and only when
the coordinates a? f being assumed orthogonal.
Consider now any linear equation
where c i are constants and w t . sphere coordinates. If we determine
a sphere with coordinates c t ., (5) is the same as (4). Hence
A linear equation in elementary sphere coordinates represents a
complex of spheres consisting of spheres orthogonal to a fixed sphere.
If the fixed sphere is special the complex consists of spheres through
the center of the special sphere and is called a special complex.
341
342 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The word " complex " is used in the same sense as in 113, for
if a., {$ 7 t ., 5 t . are four spheres which satisfy (4), any sphere which
satisfies (4) has the coordinates
Consider now the two simultaneous equations in sphere
coordinates : ^c { u t = 0, ]^ = 0. (6)
Spheres which satisfy both of these equations belong to two
complexes. Therefore two simultaneous linear equations in elemen
tary sphere coordinates are satisfied by spheres which are orthogonal
to two fixed spheres. These spheres form a bundle, for if ., /:?., 7.
are any three spheres which satisfy (6), any sphere satisfying .(6)
has the coordinates a^f X/3.+ /j,y t .
All spheres which belong to the two complexes in (6) belong
to the complex ^0^+ X^t? j .w.= 0, and any two complexes of the
latter form determine the bundle. Among these complexes there
are in general two and only two special ones, and so we reach
again the conclusion that a bundle of spheres consists in general
of spheres through two fixed points.
Three linear equations,
]T C.M . = 0, ^ d t u t = 0, 2) e ^ u i =
determine spheres which are orthogonal to three base spheres.
These spheres form a pencil, since if a. and /3. are any two spheres
satisfying (7), any sphere which satisfies (7) has the coordinates
ffi+Xft
We shall not proceed further with the study of the elementary
coordinates, as more interest attaches to the higher coordinates,
defined in the next section.
EXERCISES
1. Consider the quadratic complex ^a ik UfU k = 0, (a ki = a ik ) and
the polar linear complex of a sphere v i} defined by the equation
5} a a*Wfc = 0 If the determinant a ik 3= 0, show that to any sphere v t
corresponds one polar complex, and conversely.
2. Show that if v { lies in the polar complex of w iy then w t lies in
the polar complex of v { . The two spheres v t and w t are said to be
conjugate.
SPHERE COORDINATES 343
3. Show that the pencil of spheres denned by two conjugate spheres
has in common with the quadratic complex two spheres which are
harmonic conjugates of the first two spheres (the cross ratio of four
spheres of a pencil is defined as in the case of pencils of planes).
4. Show that the assemblage of all special spheres forms a quadratic
complex. Show that any two orthogonal spheres are conjugate with
respect to this complex, and that the polar complex of any sphere v t is
the complex of spheres orthogonal to v,..
5. Show that the planes which belong to a quadratic complex en
velop a quadric surface.
6. Show that any arbitrary pencil of spheres contains two spheres
which belong to a given quadratic complex, and that any arbitrary point
is the center of two spheres of the complex.
7. Show that the locus of the centers of the point spheres of a
complex with nonvanishing discriminant is a cyclide.
8. Define as a simjily special complex one for which the discriminant
\a it . vanishes but so that all its first minors do not vanish. Show that
 IK
such a complex contains one singular sphere which is conjugate to all
spheres in space. Show that the complex contains all spheres of the
pencil determined by the singular sphere and any other sphere of
the complex, and that all spheres of such a pencil have the same polar
complex.
147. Higher sphere coordinates. Let x i be orthogonal penta
spherical coordinates whereby
and let a i^i+ a &+ Vs + a p<+ a & X 5 =
be the equation of a sphere. To the five quantities 1? 2 , # 8 , 4 ,
we will adjoin a sixth one, # 6 , defined by the relation
a*+a*+al. (3)
The six quantities are then bound by the quadratic relation
f (a)= a *+ a*+ 3 2 + <+ a 5 2 + = 0, (4)
and the ratios of these quantities are taken as the coordinates of the
sphere. This is justified by the fact that if the sphere is given,
the coordinates are determined ; and if the coordinates are given,
the sphere is determined.
344 FOUKDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
More generally, if a^ # 2 , # 3 , a^ # 5 , a & are six quantities such that
with the condition that the determinant tfj shall not vanish, the
ratios a i : a k may be used as the coordinates of the sphere. Equa
tion (4) then goes into a more general quadratic relation. We
shall, however, confine ourselves to the simpler a,.
By (20), 121, the radius of the sphere
is
Consequently, to change the sign of a & is to change the sign of the
radius of the corresponding sphere. If, then, we desire to maintain
a onetoone relation between a sphere and its coordinates, we must
adopt some convention as to the meaning of a negative radius.
This we shall do by considering a sphere with a positive radius as
bounding that portion of space which contains its center, and a
sphere with negative radius as bounding the exterior portion of
space. Otherwise expressed, the positive radius goes with the inner
surface of the sphere, the negative radius with the outer surface.
A sphere with its radius thus determined is an oriented sphere.
If the sphere becomes a plane the positive value of 6 is associ
ated with one side of the plane, the negative value with the other.
A sphere is special when and only when 6 = 0.
148. Angle between spheres. By 119 the angle between two
spheres with coordinates a. and b { is defined by the equation
a A
Hence the angle 6 is determined without ambiguity when the
signs of the radii of the two spheres are known. If both radii are
positive, 6 is the angle interior to both spheres; if both radii are
negative, 6 is exterior to both spheres ; and if the radii are of opposite
sign, 6 is interior to one sphere and exterior to the other.
For special spheres the angle defined by (1) becomes indeter
minate. More precisely, if a t is a special sphere the coordinate
SPHERE COORDINATES 345
# 6 = and the other five sphere coordinates are the pentaspherical
coordinates of the center of the sphere. Therefore the condition
that the center of the special sphere a { lie on another sphere b { is
Therefore if a f is a special sphere, b { any other sphere, and
the angle between a t . and 5 t ., cos is infinite when the center of
a. t does not lie on 5., but is % when the center of a t . lies on I..
A special sphere therefore makes any angle with a sphere on which
its center lies.
When 8 = (2 k + 1) , ij (a, 6) = ,*, + ,*, + a,J, + A + .i. = 0,
and conversely. Hence we may say :
The vanishing of the first polar of 77 (a) is the condition that two
spheres be orthogonal.
When (9=0, f (a, 5)= ^+ ^ 2 + a/ 3 + a 4 6 4 + 5 & 5 + 6 ^ 6 = 0, and
conversely. In this case the spheres are said to be tangent, but it
is to be noticed that spheres are not tangent when 6 = TT. The dif
ference between the cases in which 6 = and those in which 6 = TT
lies in the relation to each other of the space which the spheres
bound. In fact, if two spheres which are tangent in the elementary
sense lie outside of each other, they are tangent in the present
sense only when one is the boundary of its interior space, and the
other is the boundary of its exterior space ; that is, the two radii
have opposite signs. If two elementary spheres are tangent so that
one lies inside the other, they are tangent when oriented only if
the radii have the same sign. We say:
The vanishing of the first polar of % (a) is the condition that two
spheres be tangent.
Two planes are tangent when they are parallel or intersect in a
minimum line (Ex. 8, 81).
It is obvious that all these theorems are unaltered by the use
of the more general sphere coordinates of 121.
The angle O k made by the sphere a i with the coordinate sphere
x k = is given by the equation
346 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Consequently we have the theorem :
By the use of orthogonal coordinates x { and the sphere coordinates a r ,
the five coordinates a^ a^ 3 , 4 , a 5 of any sphere are proportional to the
cosines of the angles which that sphere makes with the coordinate
spheres.
149. The linear complex of oriented spheres. Equation (1) of
148 may be written
A + fl A+ a &+ a A + ^5+ a ^ cos e = 
Consider now a linear equation
C 1 U 1+ C M S + W.+ W+ C 6 M 6 + W =
where w t . are higher sphere coordinates and c. are constants. The
spheres which satisfy this equation form a linear complex.
This equation may in general be identified with (1) by deter
mining a fixed sphere, called the base sphere, with the coordinates
.= <?., (i = l, 2, 3, 4, 5), 6  ijc* + cl + c 3 2 + el + c 6 2 , (3)
and determining an angle 6 by the equation
a & cos 6 = c & . (4)
Equation (2) is then satisfied by all spheres which make the
angle 6 with the base sphere. This angle is equal to when and
only when c & a & ; that is, when f (<?) = 0. In the latter case the
complex is called special.
We put these results in the form of the theorem :
A linear complex consists in general of spheres cutting a fixed
sphere under a constant angle. If % (c) = the complex is special
and consists of spheres tangent to a fixed sphere.
The words "in general" have been introduced into the theorem
because of the exceptional cases which arise when the base sphere
is special ; that is, when a & = 0. In that case the angle 6 cannot be 
determined from (4).
If at the same time that 6 = the complex is special, then 6 = 0,
and the complex is
with ^cf= 0. Then c. are the coordinates of a point, the center of
the base sphere, and hence a special complex may consist of spheres
intersecting in a point.
SPHERE COORDINATES 347
If when a & = the complex is not special, then c 9 =f= 0, and the
angle 6 cannot be determined. A particular case in which this may
happen is when c l = c z = c s = c^ c 5 = 0, and the complex is
6 =o.
This equation is satisfied by all special spheres. Therefore all
special spheres together form a nonspecial linear complex in which the
base sphere is indeterminate.
There remain still other cases in which a = 0, but c a = 0. The
6 6
base sphere is then special and the angle 6 is infinite, but the com
plete definition of the complex is through its equation.
EXERCISES
1. Prove that the base sphere of a complex is the locus of the
centers of the special spheres which belong to the complex.
2. Prove that if c 6 = in the equation of a complex, the complex
consists of spheres orthogonal to a fixed sphere, as in 146.
3. Prove that in a special complex the coefficients in the equation
of the complex are the coordinates of the base sphere.
4. Prove that all planes together make a special complex with the
base sphere the locus at infinity.
5. Show that all spheres with a fixed radius form a linear complex
and determine the base sphere.
6. Discuss the relation between two complexes whose equations
differ only in the sign of the last term.
7. Two linear complexes ^c f u { = and ^d,n,= being said to be
in involution when c^ + c 2 d 2 f c^d s f c^d 4 f c 5 c? 5 + c & d 6 = 0, show that
when the base spheres of the two complexes are nonspecial, the product
of the cosines of the angles which the spheres of each complex makes
with its base sphere is equal to the cosine of the angle between the
base spheres.
8. Prove that a special complex is in involution with every complex
which contains its base sphere.
9. Show that the complex consisting of spheres orthogonal to a
nonspecial base sphere is in involution with the complex of all special
spheres.
10. Show that the six complexes u { are pair by pair in involution
and determine the relations of the base spheres.
348 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
11. Conjugate spheres with respect to a linear complex are such that
any sphere tangent to both belongs to the complex, and any sphere of
the complex tangent to one is tangent to the other.
Show that if v t is any sphere, the conjugate sphere has tke coordinates
12. If a complex is composed of spheres orthogonal to a base sphere,
show that the conjugate of a sphere S is the inverse of S with respect
to the base sphere.
13. Find without calculation and verify by the formulas the con
jugate of a sphere with reference to a complex of spheres with fixed
radius R.
14. Show that the conjugate of a sphere with respect to the complex
of special spheres is the same sphere with the sign of the radius changed.
150. Linear congruence of oriented spheres. The spheres common
to two linear complexes
form a sphere congruence. Any sphere of the congruence (1) also
belongs to any complex of the form
=0, (2)
and any two complexes of form (2) can be used to define the
congruence.
Now (2) represents a special complex when X satisfies the
equation
that is, f (a) + 2 X (a, ft) + X 2 f (6) = 0. (3)
Hence, in general, a sphere congruence consists of spheres tangent
to two spheres, called directrix spheres.
The exceptional cases occur when the roots of equation (3)
are either illusive or equal. In the first case equation (3) is
identically satisfied and all complexes of (2) are special. The
congruence may then be defined in an infinite number of ways
as composed of spheres tangent to two directrix spheres. The
condition that (3) be identically satisfied is f(a) = 0,
SPHERE COORDINATES 349
f (a, >) = 0. The first two equations say that the defining com
plexes are special; the third equation says that the base sphere
of either lies on the other.
If the two roots of (3) are equal, there is only one special com
plex in the pencil (2). Suppose we take this as 2 a < M < !Ba ^ Then,
since the roots of (3) are equal, f (a, ft) = 0. This says that
the base sphere of the special complex belongs to the complex
S,u,= o.
151. Linear series of oriented spheres. Consider now the spheres
common to the three complexes
which do not define the same congruence. These spheres form a
linear series.
A sphere of the series (1) belongs also to any complex of the
f rm
^+i^t^O, (2)
and any three linearly independent complexes (2). may be used to
define the series. Among the complexes (2) there are a simply
infinite set of special complexes ; namely, those for which X, /*, and
v satisfy the equation f (Xa + ^j + , ) = . (3)
The spheres of the series (1) form, therefore, a onedimensional
extent of spheres which are tangent to a onedimensional extent of
directrix spheres.
The nature of the series depends on the character of equation (3).
We shall assume that the discriminant of (3) does not vanish.
If the quantities (X, ft, v) are for a moment interpreted as trilinear
point coordinates in a plane, equation (3) will represent a conic
without singular points ; hence it is possible to find three sets of
values which satisfy (3) and are linearly independent. We have
corresponding to these values of (\, p, v) three linearly independent
special complexes, and may assume without loss of generality that
they are the three complexes in equations (1).
Then any one of the directrix spheres has the coordinates
(149) /^ = Xa t .+ /^ t .+ ^, (4)
where (X + /*6 + )= 0, (a)=0, f(&)=0, fO) = 0. (5)
350 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Now if atp /3 t ., and y i are any three spheres of the series (1), it is
obvious that the spheres v { in (4) satisfy the three equations
2/w = o, 5X*, = o, 2)w = o. (6)
Conversely, any sphere satisfying equations (6) satisfy (4), for
three solutions of (6) are a,., b { , c { , and the most general solution
is therefore \a i + ph. + vc { , where (since v i are sphere coordinates)
equation (3) must be satisfied.
Hence the directrix spheres form another linear series.
The special complexes which may define the series (6) are
where f (pa. + <r. + ry t .) = 0.
The base spheres of these are simply the solutions of (1). Hence
the directrix spheres of the series (6) are the spheres of (1).
We have, therefore, two series of spheres such that each sphere of
one series is the tangent to each sphere of the other.
On the other hand, no two spheres of the same series are tangent.
To prove this note that by (5) we have
X/*f (a, b) + pvg (b, c) + i/Xf 0, a) = 0,
and no one of these coefficients can vanish under the hypothesis
that the discriminant of (3) does not vanish. But a fl b { , c l are any
three directrix spheres, and hence the theorem.
By 115 we are able to say immediately:
In the general case the spheres of a linear series envelop a Lupin s
cyclide.
We shall not discuss the special forms of the linear series arising
when the discriminant of equation (3) vanishes.
152. Pencils and bundles of tangent spheres. If a. and b { are
any two spheres, then . s 7 ,i\
fw,= a, + X6. (1)
is a sphere when and only when V i 6 i = 0; that is, when a { and
b. are tangent. In this case (1) represents oo 1 spheres, each of
which is tangent to each of the others. We call this a pencil
of tangent spheres. In the notation of 117 the condition for a
special sphere in the pencil is
6 +X6 6 =0, (2)
SPHERE COORDINATES 351
so that there is only one special sphere in the pencil unless a i and
>;, and consequently all spheres of the pencil, are special.
The condition for a plane in the pencil is
a 1 + 2a 6 +\(J 1 +0 6 )=0, (3)
so that there is only one plane in the pencil unless all the spheres
of the pencil, including a i and 5 t , are planes.
In general the special sphere and the plane are distinct from
each other. Therefore the special sphere is a point sphere whose
center is in finite space. This center lies on all spheres of the
pencil by 148. Hence the pencil is composed of spheres tangent
to each other at the same point. Such spheres have in common
two minimum lines determined by the intersection of the point
sphere and the plane of the pencil. These statements may be veri
fied analytically by writing the equations of the spheres in the
form (3), 111.
Special forms of a tangent pencil may arise, however. For
example, it may consist of spheres having two parallel minimum
lines in common. The special sphere and the plane in the pencil
then coincide with the minimum plane determined by these mini
mum lines. Again, the pencil may consist of point spheres whose
centers lie on a minimum line. The plane in the pencil is then
the minimum plane through that line. Or the pencil may consist of
parallel planes ( 48). The special sphere in the pencil is then the
plane at infinity unless all the planes of the pencil are minimum
planes and therefore special spheres. Finally, the pencil may
consist of planes intersecting in the same minimum line ( 48).
The special sphere is then the minimum plane through that line.
If ., &., and c t are three spheres not in the same pencil, then
jm^^+Xfi,. + /*<?,. (4)
is a sphere when and only when the three spheres are tangent each
to each. In that case equation (4) defines oo 2 spheres, each of which
is tangent to each of the others. It is a bundle of tangent spheres.
There are in the bundle oo l special spheres determined by the equation
VtXfl 6 +fM? 6 =0, (5)
and oo * planes determined by the equation
! 4 ia 6
352 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In general, equations (5) and (6) have only one common solution,
so that the special spheres are point spheres. Since all spheres of
the bundle are tangent, the centers of the point spheres lie on a
minimum line which lies on all the spheres of the bundle. The point
spheres and the planes form each a pencil in the sense already dis
cussed, so that any point of the common minimum line is the center
of a point sphere of the bundle, and any plane through the minimum
line is a plane of the bundle. From that we may show that any
sphere which contains that minimum line and is properly oriented
belongs to the bundle. For let v t be such a sphere and a[ any plane
of the bundle. Since v. and a( have one minimum line in common,
they have another minimum line in common which intersects the
first one at a point P. Let b { be the point sphere with center P.
Then v { is tangent both to a[ and b f { at P, and therefore
pv t = a\ f r5J
if the proper sign is given to a 6 . But a[= a t + V& i +/* c < and
V i =a i +\"b i +iJk"c { , so that
whence v t belongs to the bundle.
Summing up, we say : In general a bundle of tangent spheres con
sists of all the oo 2 spheres which have a minimum line in common
and of no other spheres.
To avoid misunderstanding the student should remember that
we are dealing with oriented spheres and that, for example, three
elementary tangent spheres which lie so that two of them are tan
gent internally to the third, but externally to each other, cannot
be so oriented as to be tangent in the sense in which we now use
the word.
Special forms of bundles deserve some mention. In the first
place, we notice that not all the spheres can be point spheres ; since,
if they were, the centers of three spheres would be finite points
not in the same line but in the same plane, so that each is con
nected with the other by a minimum line, which is impossible.
The spheres of the bundle may, however, all be planes. Then
the special spheres must be minimum planes, which, since they are
tangent, must form a pencil of minimum planes tangent to the
circle at infinity at the same point ( 48). All planes of the bundle
SPHERE COORDINATES 353
must pass through this point, and it is evident that any two
planes through this point either intersect in a minimum line or are
parallel, and in each case are tangent. Hence, as a special case a
bundle of tangent spheres may consist of oo 2 planes through the same
point on the imaginary circle at infinity.
153. Quadratic complex of oriented spheres. Consider the quad
ratic complex denned by the equation
5>,?= o (i)
This is the form to which in general an equation of the second
degree in x { can be reduced, and we shall consider only this case.
Since the sphere coordinates satisfy the equation
the same complex (1) is represented by any equation of the form
Now let y i be a sphere of (3), and z. any sphere tangent to y
and consider the pencil of tangent spheres
puyt+ter (4)
This pencil has in common with (3) the two spheres corre
sponding to the values of X obtained by substituting from (4) in (3).
This gives, with reference to the fact that y { satisfies (3),
The one common sphere is, then, always y t , as it should be, but
the other is in general distinct from y. and coincides with it when
and only when z l satisfies the relation
that is, when e. lies on the linear complex
This complex is called a tangent linear complex.
From the derivation a tangent linear complex through a sphere y.
is a linear complex which contains y. and has the property that any
pencil of tangent spheres belonging to the linear complex which
354 FOUKDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
contains y i has, in common with the quadratic complex, only the
sphere y i doubly reckoned, unless the pencil lies entirely in the
quadratic complex.
This definition is analogous to that given in point space for a
tangent plane to a surface by means of coincident points of inter
section of a line in the tangent plane. The exceptional cases of
pencils entirely on the complex are analogous to tangent lines
which lie entirely on the surface.
It may also be noted that if y t \ dy i is any sphere of (1) adja
cent to y t , so that ^$#{ly f *= and, from (2), yj%y t ~ 0, the sphere
lies also in (5). The tangent linear complex contains all spheres
of the quadratic complex adjacent to ?/..
Since //. is arbitrary in (5) the quadratic complex (1) has a pencil
of tangent linear complexes through any sphere y.. Among these
there is in general one and only one which is a special complex,
for the condition that (5) be special is
which, if we replace ^ by and use (1) and (2), becomes
The special linear tangent complex is then in general (/^ 2 = 0)
5^:= 0.
In an exceptional manner, however, all tangent linear complexes
are special when V^2 2=0. ^
When this condition is satisfied the sphere y i is called a singular
sphere.
The conditions to be satisfied by the coordinates of a singular
sphere are, accordingly,
which express respectively that y. satisfies the fundamental equa
tion for sphere coordinates, that the sphere y. is in the complex (1),
and that it is a singular sphere.
The last equation also expresses the fact that c ( y { are the coor
dinates of some sphere, and the second equation tells us that the
sphere c^y i is tangent to the sphere y? The two spheres therefore
SPHERE COOKDLNTATES 355
define a pencil. On the sphere y i there is, therefore, a definite
point P, the center of the point sphere of the pencil. The locus of
P is an oo 2 extent of points forming the surface of singularities.
In order to determine the degree of the surface of singularities
we shall take 2, any sphere of the pencil of tangent spheres defined
by y t and <y, p so that ^_ (( , + x) ^ (g)
Substitution in (7) gives the equations
y 3 = V C{ ^ = V G ^ = Q
*(a { +\y ^(^+X) 2 A^.+ x) 2
but simple linear combinations of these show that they are equiv
alent to the three equations
S* =o. 2:^=0, S^o oo
Conversely, if z f is any solution of (9) and we place u {
A.
it is clear that u. is a singular sphere of the quadratic complex (1).
Therefore equations (9) are satisfied by all spheres belonging to
any pencil of tangent spheres defined by a singular sphere y i and
the sphere cy., and, conversely, any sphere which satisfies (9)
belongs to such a pencil.
Let us now adjoin the condition that z i should be a point sphere ;
namely, ^ =a (1Q)
Equations (9) and (10), then, define the points P.
Consider now any straight line I defined as the intersections of
two planes M and N. Take
2>A= (11)
as the equation of any linear complex which has M as a base
S P here and 2> A .= (12)
as the equation of any linear complex which has N&s a base sphere.
The point spheres of the complex (11) have centers on M, and
the point spheres of the complex (12) have centers on N, so that
the point spheres belonging to M and N have centers on the line I.
Hence the simultaneous solutions of equations (9), (10), (11),
and (12) give the point spheres whose centers lie both on the
surface of singularities and on the line I. The number of these
356 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
solutions is the number of points in which I meets the surface of
singularities; that is, the degree of the surface.
To solve these equations we may begin by eliminating X from
the last two of equations (9). Since the third equation of (9) is
the derivative of the second with respect to X, the elimination of
X gives the condition that the second equation should have equal
roots in X. Since the second equation in (9) is of the fourth order
in X, by virtue of the first equation in (9), the result of the elim
ination of X is an equation of the sixth degree in zf or the twelfth
degree in 2 t , This equation, combined with the first of equa
tions (9) and the linear equations (10), (11), (12), gives twenty
four solutions. Therefore the equation of singularities is of the
twentyfourth order.
Equations (9)(12) may be otherwise interpreted by consider
ing (11) and (12) as the equations of two complexes with base
spheres which are not planar and therefore intersect in a circle,
which may be any circle. The special spheres of the complexes
have their centers on this circle, and the special spheres which also
satisfy (7) (9) are point spheres, since the condition that they be
planar adds a new equation which in general cannot be satisfied.
Hence, by the argument above, any circle, as well as any straight
line, meets the surface of singularities in twentyfour finite points.
If the equations are expressed in Cartesian coordinates, the
circle will meet a surface of the twenty fourth order in fortyeight
points. We have accounted for twentyfour finite points ; the other
twentyfour must lie on the imaginary circle at infinity. Since the
plane of the finite circle meets the circle at infinity in two points,
we have the theorem : The surface of singularities contains the
imaginary circle at infinity as a twelvefold line.
Return, now, to the pencil (8). There is one plane p in the
pencil which is tangent to y. at P and is uniquely determined by
y { . Such planes form an oo 2 extent which envelop a surface. To
show that this surface is the surface of singularities let y i H cfo/ t be
a singular sphere neighboring to y^ so that
The pencil of tangent spheres defined by y i \dy i and c^y^dy^) is
(14)
SPHERE COORDINATES 357
and the condition that v { should be tangent to 2 t is satisfied by
virtue of (7) and (13). Hence, in particular, the point P, the center
of the point sphere of (8), lies in the plane p of the pencil (14) ;
that is, P is the limit point of intersection of two neighboring
planes p and is therefore a point of the surface enveloped by p.
This establishes the identity of the surface which is the locus of
P and that enveloped by p.
The class of the surface of singularities is the number of the
planes p which pass through an arbitrary line. To determine this
number we may again set up equations (9), (11), and (12), but
replace (10) by ^ + ^ = 0> (15)
which is the condition that u f should be a plane.
Any plane of either of the c omplexes (11) or (12) intersects
the base plane M or N respectively in a straight line, and therefore
the planes common to M and N pass through the line /. The solu
tions of equations (9), (11), (12), and (15) give, therefore, the
planes tangent to the surface of singularities which pass through I.
Hence the surface of singularities is of the twentyfourth class.
154. Duality of line and sphere geometry. Since line coordinates
and higher sphere coordinates each consist of the ratios of six quan
tities connected by a quadratic relation, there is duality between
them. To bring out the dualistic properties we shall interpret the
ratios of six quantities x { connected by the relation
x$+ xl+xl+xl f xl+ xl= 0,
on the one hand, as the sphere coordinates a { of 147 and, on the
other hand, as the Klein line coordinates of 130.
It is to be noticed that for a real line, as shown in 130, we
have x^ # 2 , # 4 real and o? 8 , o? 6 , x & pure imaginary. On the other
hand it follows from 146, 147 that for a real sphere we have
x i> x tf x & x rea l an ^ x tf X Q P ure i ma g mar y Hence configurations
which are real in either the line or the sphere space will be
imaginary in the other.
It is also to be noticed that a sphere for which # 6 = is peculiar,
being a special sphere, but the line for which X G = has no special
geometric properties. The complex of lines # 6 = has, however,
a peculiar role in the dualistic relations. We shall call this com
plex C. Its equation in Pliicker coordinates is p u P 2Z 0.
358
FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Two spheres whose coordinates differ only in the sign of # 6 are
the same in the elementary sense, but two lines whose coordinates
differ in the same way are distinct and conjugate with respect to
the complex C. The relation between sphere and line is therefore
in one sense onetotwo, but becomes onetoone by the convention
of distinguishing between two spheres which differ in the sign of
the radius.
Any sphere for which x l + ix b = is a plane, but the correspond
ing line has no special geometric property. The complex of lines
2^4. ix & = 0, however, will have a peculiar r61e in the duality. We
shall call this complex S. It is special and consists of lines inter
secting the line with coordinates 1 : : : : i. Its equation in
Pliicker coordinates is p s4 = 0.
We have now as immediate consequences of our previous results
the following dualistic relations:
Line space
A straight line.
A line of the complex C.
A line of the complex S.
A line of C but not of S.
A line of S but not of C.
A line of C and of S.
Two lines conjugate with respect
to C.
Two intersecting lines.
A nonspecial complex.
A special complex consisting of
lines intersecting a fixed line.
A linear congruence consisting
of lines intersecting two lines.
A linear series forming one set
of generators of a quadric surface.
A quadratic line complex with
its singular surface.
Sphere space
A sphere.
A special sphere.
A plane.
A point sphere.
An ordinary plane.
A minimum plane.
Two spheres differing only in
the sign of the radius.
Two tangent spheres.
A nonspecial complex.
A special complex consisting of
spheres tangent to a fixed sphere.
A linear congruence consisting
of spheres tangent to two spheres.
A linear series forming one of
the families of spheres which en
velop a Dupin s cyclide.
A quadratic sphere complex with
its singular surface.
A pencil of lines corresponds to a pencil of tangent spheres,
and a bundle of lines to a bundle of tangent spheres. Consider a
point P and the oo 2 lines through it. They correspond in general
SPHEEE COORDINATES 359
to a bundle of tangent spheres which have in common a minimum
line p ( 152). It is therefore possible in this way to set up a
correspondence of the line space and the sphere space by which
any point of the line space corresponds to a minimum line of the
sphere space.
An exception occurs when the point P of the line space lies on
the axis of the complex S. Then all lines through P belong to S,
and the corresponding bundle of spheres consists of planes which
have in common only a point on the imaginary circle at infinity.
Consider two points P and Q connected by a line I correspond
ing to a sphere s. P corresponds in the first place to a bundle of
spheres containing s and therefore, in the second place, to a mini
mum line p on s. Similarly, Q corresponds to a minimum line <?,
.also on s. If p and q intersect in a finite point Jf, the point sphere
with center M belongs to both the bundle of spheres containing p
and that containing q. Therefore the line corresponding to this
point sphere must pass through P and Q. Hence I, since it corre
sponds to a point sphere, is in this case a line of the complex C.
Conversely, if / is any line of the complex C the minimum lines
corresponding to P and Q lie on a special sphere and intersect.
Otherwise, if I is not a line of the complex C the minimum lines
do not intersect in a finite point and hence are two generators of
the same family on s.
Consider now the line I conjugate to / with respect to the com
plex C. The points of this line correspond to generators of the
same sphere s. But points of I and I are connected by a line of (7,
and therefore the generators given by I intersect those given by I.
Therefore the generators given by points of I and I belong to
different families.
Consider now the lines of a plane. They form a bundle which
corresponds to a bundle of tangent spheres. It is therefore possible
to set up a correspondence of line space and sphere space by
which a plane corresponds to a minimum line. We have nothing
new, however, since the lines which lie in a plane are. conjugate
with respect to C of the lines which pass through a point. In fact,
if we keep to the correspondence of point and minimum line it is
not difficult to show that the oo 2 points of a plane correspond to
oo 2 minimum lines, which can be arranged in oo 1 spheres which have
360 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
a minimum line in common, so that in this way a plane corre
sponds to a minimum line.
We may exhibit these results in the following table:
Line space Sphere space
A point. A minimum line.
The points of a general line I. One set of generators of a
sphere s.
The points of I conjugate to I The other set of generators of s.
with respect to C.
The points on a line of C but The minimum lines on a point
not of S. sphere (the lines of a minimum
cone).
The points of a line of S but The two families of minimum
not of C and the points of the lines of a plane,
conjugate line with respect to C.
The points of a line common to The single family of minimum
C and S. lines on a minimum plane.
Consider now any surface F in the line space. We may find a
corresponding surface in the sphere space as follows. Let P be
any point on F and consider the pencil of tangent lines to F at P.
These lines if infinitesimal in length determine a surface element.
Corresponding to the pencil of tangent lines there is in the
sphere space a pencil of tangent spheres which determine a point
P and a tangent plane ; that is, another surface element. It may
be noticed that the point P is the center of the point sphere which
corresponds to the line of the complex C in the pencil of lines
which lie in the surface element of F.
We have in this way associated to a surface element in the line
space a surface element of the sphere space. When the surface
elements in the line space are associated into a surface F, the sur
face elements in the sphere space form another surface, F , which
corresponds to F.
To any tangent line of F at P corresponds a tangent sphere of
F at P . It is known from surface theory that consecutive to P
there are two points Q and R on F such that a tangent line at
either coincides with a tangent line at P. The tangents PQ and
PR are the principal tangents at P. If the directions of one of
SPHERE COORDINATES 361
these tangents is followed on the surface, we have a principal
tangent line (or an asymptotic line) on F.
Corresponding to this, there are in the sphere space two con
secutive points Q and R on F such that a tangent sphere at
either coincides with a tangent sphere at P . If one of the direc
tions P Q or P R is followed on F , we have a line of curvature
of F 1 .
Therefore, in the correspondence before us principal tangent lines
on a surface in the line space correspond to lines of curvature on the
corresponding surface in the sphere space.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the relation between line space and sphere space may
" be expressed by the equations
Zz = Tx(X iY)t y
(X + iY)z = TyZt,
where x\y\z\t are Cartesian point coordinates in the line space and
X : Y : Z : T are similar coordinates in the sphere space. Verify all the
results of the text.
2. Trace the analogies between the fourdimensional sphere geom
etry and the threedimensional point geometry with pentaspherical
coordinates.
CHAPTER XIX
FOURDIMENSIONAL POINT COORDINATES
155. Definitions. We shall now develop the elements of a four
dimensional geometry in which the ideas and methods of the ele
mentary threedimensional point geometry are used and which
stands in essentially the same relation to that geometry as that
does to the geometry of the plane.
We shall define as a point in a fourdimensional space any set
of values of the four ratios x. x: x : x.i x. of five variables. In a
12345
nonhomogeneous form the point is a set of values of the four
variables (x, y, z, w).
A straight line is defined as a onedimensional extent determined
by the equations
px ( =y t +\z a (t = l, 2, 3, 4,5) (1)
where y { and z i are two fixed points and X is an independent variable.
A plane is defined as a twodimensional extent determined by the
equations ^ =yj+H+/Wp (, = 1, 2 , 8, 4, 6) (2)
where x it y { , z { are three fixed points not on the same straight line
and X, fji are independent variables.
A hyperplane is defined as a threedimensional extent determined
by the equations
px { = y, + Xz. + iL Wi + w*,., (t = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (3)
where y# z t , w# u { are four fixed points not in the same plane and
X, /x, v are independent variables.
From these definitions follows at once the theorem :
/. A straight line is completely and uniquely determined by any
two of its points, a plane by any three of its points which are not
collinear, and a hyperplane by any four of its points which are not
coplanar.
The forms of equations (1), (2), (3) show that if the fixed points
are given, the corresponding locus is completely determined. The
362
POINT COORDINATES 363
theorem asserts that any points on the locus which are the same
in number and satisfy the same condition as the given points may
be used to define the locus. We shall show this for the plane (2).
Let Y. be a point defined by equations (2) when X = X x , p = /^ ;
that is, let , r
Yi=Vi+ *&+!*& (4)
Equations (2) may then be written
which are of the type px { = Y t + X z^h n w^ (5)
Then any point which can be obtained from (2) can also be
obtained from (5), and conversely.
The discussion, however, assumes that Y. is not on the same
straight line through z. and w i ; for if it were, the coordinates of Y.
would not be of the form (4). In fact, to obtain from (2) points
on the line y { z { in the plane (2) it is necessary to replace X and //
by the fractional forms , write the equation of the plane as
v v
and then place v = 0.
We have shown that in equations (2) the point y. may be
replaced by any point not on the same straight line with z. and w r
In the same manner each of the other points may be replaced, and
the theorem is proved for the plane.
The student will have no difficulty in proving the theorem for
straight line and hyperplane.
Another immediate consequence of the definitions is the theorem :
//. If two points lie in a plane, the line determined by them lies
in the plane ; if three points lie in a hyperplane, the plane determined
by them lies in the hyperplane.
The proof is left to the student.
If we eliminate p, X, /z, v from equations (3) we have the result
2/ 2 Z 2 W 2 z
2/3 *3 W B W 3 = C 6 )
364 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Hence :
///. Any hyperplane may be represented by a linear equation in
the coordinates x { .
Conversely :
IV. Any linear equation in x { represents a hyperplane.
Let V ,*,.=
be such an equation, and let ?/., 2., w t , u { be four points satisfying
the equation but not on the same straight line. Then we have
and by eliminating a. from these equations and (7) we have an
equation of the form (6) and thence equations of form (3).
If we eliminate /o, X, /t from equations (2) we have the two
equations
= 0,
(8)
That is :
V. Any plane may be represented by two linear equations in the
coordinates x { .
Conversely :
VI. Any two independent linear equations represent a plane.
Let 2)^=0, 2)6,^=0 (9)
be such equations. Since they are independent, at least one of the
determinants
is not zero. Let us assume that
The two equations can then be solved for x and x
=0.
4 5
and thus
reduced to two of the type (9) with a b = and 5 4 = 0. If #., z., w i
are three points satisfying the equations but not on the same
straight line, we may then eliminate a. and b. and obtain equations
of the form (8) and finally of the form (2).
In the same manner we may easily prove :
VII. Any straight line may be represented by three linear equations,
and any three independent linear equations represent a straight line.
POINT COORDINATES 365
As a special case of theorem IV, any one of the five equations
%.= represents a hyperplane. Consider in particular x & = 0. The
points in this hyperplane have the coordinates x^. x z : x 3 : x 4 , as in
projective threedimensional space, and the definitions of straight
line and plane are the usual definitions. The two equations which
represent a plane consist of the equation x^= and any other linear
equation. If, then, the equation x & = is assumed once for all, a
plane is represented by a single equation. Similarly, a straight line
in x b = is represented by two equations besides the equation x & = 0.
Obviously the difference between the representations of a plane in
threedimensional and fourdimensional geometry is similar to that
between the representations of a straight line in twodimensional
and threedimensional geometry.
Just as plane geometry is a section of space geometry, so space
geometry is a section of fourdimensional geometry, the three
dimensional space being a hyperplane of the fourdimensional space.
156. Intersections. We shall proceed to give theorems concerning
the intersections of lines, planes, and hyperplaiie*s. In reading these
it may be helpful for the student to bear in mind that within the
same hyperplane these theorems are the same as those of the ordi
nary threedimensional geometry, but differences emerge as we
consider figures in different hyperplanes.
/. Two hyperplanes intersect in a plane. All hyperplanes through
the same plane form a pencil, and any two of these hyperplanes may
be used to define the plane.
The first part of this theorem follows immediately from
theorem VI, 155. For the latter part we notice that any hyper
planes of the pencil ^a^f X^fyz^ intersect in the plane
determined by 2X# t = and ^0^= 0.
II. Three hyperplanes not in the same pencil intersect in a straight
line. All hyperplanes through the same line form a bundle, and any
three of them not in the same pencil determine the line.
This follows at once from theorem VII, 155. The bundle of
hyperplanes is given by the equation ^a i x i +\^b i x i + p^cp^O.
III. Four hyperplanes not in the same bundle intersect in a point.
All hyperplanes through the same point form a threedimensional extent,
and any four of them not in the same bundle determine the point.
366 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
This follows from the fact that the four equations
determine in general a single point. The exceptions are when the
four equations represent hyperplanes of the same bundle.
IV. A plane and a hyper plane intersect in a straight line unless the
plane lies entirely in the hyperplane.
For the equations which determine the points common to a plane
and a hyperplane are three linear equations which in general deter
mine a line. If, however, the plane lies in the hyperplane, the lat
ter may be taken as one of the equations of the plane (theorem I),
and we have only two equations. Furthermore, if the plane inter
sect the hyperplane in three points not in the same straight line,
it lies entirely in the hyperplane by theorem II, 155.
V. Two planes intersect in a single point unless they lie in the same
hyperplane. In that case they intersect in a line, or coincide.
For the points common to two planes must in general satisfy
four linear equations and hence reduce to a single point. If, how
ever, the planes are in the same hyperplane, the equation of that
hyperplane may be taken as one of the equations of each of the
planes, and the points common to them have only to satisfy three
equations. Furthermore, if the two planes intersect in a line, the
hyperplane determined by four points, two on the line of inter
section and one on each of the planes, will contain both planes
(theorem II, 155).
VI. Three planes not in the same hyperplane do not in general inter
sect, but may intersect in a single point or in a straight line. Three
planes in the same hyperplane intersect in a point or a straight line.
The points of intersection of three planes must satisfy six equa
tions, which is in general impossible. If the planes are in the same
hyperplane, however, the number of equations is reduced to at least
four by taking the equation of that hyperplane as one of the
equations of each of the three planes.
But consider four hyperplanes intersecting in a point. It is
possible in a number of ways to pair these hyperplanes so as to
determine three planes which have the point in common but are
not in the same hyperplane.
POINT COORDINATES 367
Or, again, consider any two planes intersecting in a point A.
It is easily possible to select two points B and C which shall not
lie in the same hyperplane with either of the given planes. The
plane ABC has the point A in common with the first two planes,
but they do not lie in the same hyperplane.
Similarly, let two planes intersect in a line AB. A plane may be
passed through AB and a point C not in the same hyperplane with
the first two planes. Of course any two of these planes lie in the
same hyperplane (theorem V).
VII. A straight line and a hyperplane intersect in a single point
unless the line lies entirely in the hyperplane.
The reason is obvious.
VIII. A straight line and a plane do not intersect unless they lie
in the same hyperplane. In the latter case they either intersect in a
point or the line lies entirely in the plane.
The points common to a straight line and a plane must satisfy
five equations, which is in general impossible. If, however, the line
and plane are in the same hyperplane, the number of equations
may be reduced to four.
Again, let the line and plane intersect in the point A. Three
other points may be taken : B on the line, and C, D on the plane.
The hyperplane determined by A, B, C, D then contains both the
line and the plane.
IX. Two straight lines do not intersect unless they lie in the same plane.
In the latter case they intersect in a point or coincide throughout.
The points common to two lines must satisfy six equations,
which is in general impossible. If, however, they lie in the same
plane, the number of equations may be reduced to four.
Again, let the two lines intersect in a point A. The plane deter
mined by A and two other points, one on each line, contains both
lines.
We close this section with two theorems on the determination
of planes and hyperplanes which have already been foreshadowed.
X. A plane may be determined ly (1) three points not in the same
line ; (2) a line and a point not on it; (3) two intersecting lines.
368 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
XI. A hyperplane may be determined % (1) four points not in the
same plane ; (2) a plane and a point not on it; (3) a plane and a
line intersecting it ; (4) two planes intersecting in a line ; (5) three
lines not in the same plane intersecting in a point.
157. Euclidean space of four dimensions. We shall consider now
a fourdimensional space in which metrical properties analogous to
those of threedimensional Euclidean space are assumed. For that
purpose let us replace the ratios x^i x 2 : x & : x^i x 5 by x:y.z:w:t,
and place
JL = > Y = , Z/ =  , fr
t t t t
Then if t = the coordinates X, Y, Z, W are finite, and the values
(X, Y, Z,W) are said to represent a point in finite space. If t =
one or more of the coordinates X, Y, Z, W is infinite, and the ratios
x : y : 2 : w : are said to represent a point at infinity.
The equation t = Q represents, then, the hyperplane at infinity.
The distance between two points is defined by the equation in
the nonhomogeneous coordinates
or in the homogeneous coordinates
from which it appears that the distance between two finite points
is finite and that the distance between a finite point .and an infinite
point is in general infinite.
The equations of a straight line are in nonhomogeneous coor
dinates
, V , , , , , lu
TnoT J TT^ TT^ TTT
 XX. YY, ZZ. WW,
whence follows  =   =   =  ^ , (4^
X,X, Y 2 Y, Z 2 Z, WtwC
which may be written
X ~X. = YY, ZZ, WW,
A B C D
The ratios A:B:C:D are independent of the two points used
to determine the line and will be defined as the direction of the
POINT COORDINATES 369
line. It is readily seen that a line may be drawn through the
point (Xj, Y^ Z^ W^) with any given direction and that two lines
through that point with the same direction coincide throughout.
There is, therefore, a onetoone relation between the lines drawn
through a fixed point and the ratios we have used to define direction.
This justifies the use of the word.
Two lines with the directions AjBjC^D^ and AjB^.C^D^
respectively are said to make with each other the angle #, defined
by the equation
6
Consider the hyperplane W 0. Any point in that hyperplane
is fixed by the coordinates (X, F, Z), and the distance between
two points reduces to the Euclidean distance. The equation of
any straight line in that hyperplane is
XX l _YY l _ZZ l
A B C
so that D = 0. Hence the definitions of distance and angle become
those of Euclidean distance and angle. Therefore the geometry in
the hyperplane W = is Euclidean.
Similarly, the geometry in each of the hyperplanes X 0, F= 0,
Z = is Euclidean. The same will be shown later to be true for any
hyperplane except the hyperplane at infinity and certain exceptional
imaginary hyperplanes. We accordingly call this fourdimensional
geometry Euclidean.
In the hyperplane at infinity, t = 0, a point is fixed by the
homogeneous coordinates xiyiziw, and we may apply to this
plane the methods and formulas of threedimensional geometry
with quadriplanar coordinates.
It is important to notice the connection between figures in the
fourdimensional space and their intercepts with the hyperplane at
infinity. These intercepts we shall sometimes call traces.
The equation (5) of a straight line with direction A : B : C : D may
be written in homogeneous coordinates as
D
370 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETEY
whence it appears at once that its intercept with t is the
point AiBiC .D.
The equation of a hyperplane is
Ax+By + Cz+Dw+Et = 0,
and its trace on the hyperplane at infinity is the plane
Ax +By 4 Cz +Dw = 0.
Similarly, the equations of a plane are
Ap 4 By + Cf + DJJD 4 Ef = 0,
A 2 x 4 B z y + C 2 z 4 D 2 w + EJ = 0,
and its trace on the hyperplane at infinity is the straight line
Ap+Bj + Cf +&&**$,
A 2 x 4 B$ 4 C 2 z 4 D 2 w = 0.
A hi/persphere is defined as the locus of points whose distances
from a fixed point are equal. It is easy to show from (2) that
the equation of a hypersphere is
a o (^ 2 + *, 2 + z 2 +^ 2 )4 2 0^4 2 a y*4 2 a^+ 2 ajvt+af= 0, (8)
and that its intercept with the hyperplane at infinity is the quadric
surface 2 2 2 2 A
ar+^f r+r=0. (9)
This surface, which we call the absolute, plays a role in four
dimensional geometry analogous to that played by the imaginary
circle at infinity in threedimensional geometry. All hyperspheres
contain the absolute. The hyperplane w = intersects the absolute
in the imaginary circle at infinity in the space of the coordinates
#, y, z. The same thing is true of all hyperplanes, with the
exception of the minimum hyperplanes, to be considered later.
158. Parallelism. Any two of the configurations, straight line,
plane, or hyperplane, are said to be parallel if their complete
intersection is at infinity.
This definition gives us nothing new concerning parallel lines.
For example, we have, at once, the following theorem:
/. Through any point in space goes a single line parallel to a fixed line.
Any two parallel lines lie in the same plane and determine the plane.
POINT COORDINATES 371
Neither do we find anything new concerning a line parallel to a
plane. We have already seen that a line will not meet a plane
unless it lies in the same hyperplane. In the latter case the line
may intersect the plane in a finite point or be parallel to it. We
have the following theorem:
//. If a line is parallel to a plane the two lie in the same hyper
plane and determine that hyperplane. Through any point in space
goes a pencil of lines parallel to a fixed plane.
When we consider parallel planes we have to distinguish two
cases. Two planes are said to be completely parallel if they in
tersect in a line at infinity, and are said to be simply parallel
if they intersect in a single point at infinity and in no other
point.
From theorem XI, (4), 156, we have, at once, the theorem:
III. If two planes are completely parallel they lie in the same
hyperplane.
In fact, completely parallel planes are the parallel planes of the
ordinary threedimensional geometry. On the other hand, two
simply parallel planes do not lie in the same hyperplane and con
sequently cannot appear in threedimensional geometry. A dis
tinction between completely and simply parallel planes is brought
out in the following theorem :
IV. If two planes are completely parallel, any line of one is parallel
to some line of the other and, in fact, to a pencil of lines. If two
planes are simply parallel, there is a unique direction in each plane
such that lines with that direction in either plane are parallel to lines
with the same direction in the other, but lines with any other direction
in one plane are parallel to no lines of the other.
To understand this theorem note that if two completely parallel
planes intersect in the line I at infinity, any line in one plane will
meet I in some point P, and any line through P in the second
plane will be parallel to the first plane. If, however, two simply
parallel planes intersect in a single point P at infinity, the only
lines in the two planes which are parallel are those which intersect
in P. It may be noticed that this property of a unique direction
372 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
is found also in two intersecting planes, the unique direction being
that of the line of intersection.
A plane is parallel to a hyperplane if they intersect in a straight
line at infinity. Let this line be I. Then any line in the plane
meets I in a point P, and a bundle of lines may be drawn in
the hyperplane through P. Then each line of the bundle is par
allel to the given line. The hyperplane meets the plane at infinity
in a plane m, in which the line / lies. Any plane in the hyperplane
intersects m in a line V, which has at least one point in common
with / but which may coincide with I. From these considerations
we state the theorem:
V. If a plane and a hyperplane are parallel, any line in the plane
is parallel to each line of a bundle in the hyperplane, and any plane
in the hyperplane is at least simply parallel to the given plane.
Two hyperplanes are parallel if they intersect in the same plane
at infinity. Let that plane be m. Any plane in one hyperplane
meets m in a straight line Z, and through I may be passed a pencil
of planes in the other hyperplane. Again, consider any two planes,
one in each of the hyperplanes. They meet m in two lines, I and I ,
which intersect in a point unless they coincide. The two planes
can have no other point in common unless they are in the same
hyperplane. Hence we have the theorem:
VI. If two hyperplanes are parallel, any plane of one is completely
parallel to some plane and hence to a pencil of planes of the other,
and any plane of one is simply parallel to any plane whatever of
the other to which it is not completely parallel.
The analytic conditions for parallelism are easily given. The
necessary and sufficient condition that two lines with the directions
A l :B l :C^D l and A,:BjC n :D,
should be parallel is that A^B^C^D^AjBjCjD^.
Also the necessary and sufficient condition that two hyperplanes
AjX+By + C\z + Dj +EJ, =
and A 2 x +Bg + C 2 z + Djv + EJ, =
should be parallel is that ABCDABCD
POINT COORDINATES
373
Since two planes are simply parallel when they intersect in a
single point at infinity, the necessary and sufficient condition that
the two planes
and
should be simply parallel is that
tAp + By + 6> + Dp + EJ, = 0, j
2 =o,j
= J
C
(2)
(3)
but that not all the other fourthorder determinants of the matrix
A, B l
Z>
A ^2 ^ ^2 ^2
should vanish.
That the two planes (1) and (2) should be completely parallel
their traces on the hyperplane at infinity must coincide. Now the
determinants of the matrix
are Pliicker coordinates for the trace of the plane. Therefore the
necessary and sufficient condition that the two planes (1) and (2)
should be parallel is that the determinants of the matrix
A, B. C, 1
should have a constant ratio to the corresponding determinants of
the matrix
159. Perpendicularity. In accordance with (6), 157, two lines
with the directions A l iBjCjD l and AjBjC^D^ are said to be
perpendicular when
Q. (1)
374 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
This condition may be given a useful interpretation in the hyper
plane at infinity. The polar plane of a point x^y l izjw l in the
hyperplane t = 0, with respect to the absolute x 2 + y 1 + 2 2 + w 2 = 0, is
xjc + y^y {z^ + w^w = Q. Equation (1) therefore shows that two
perpendicular lines meet the hyperplane at infinity in two points,
each of which is on the polar plane of the other with respect to
the absolute. Or, otherwise expressed, the necessary and sufficient
condition that two lines are perpendicular is that their traces on the
hyperplane at infinity are harmonic conjugates with respect to the two
points in which the line connecting the traces meets the absolute.
A line is said to be perpendicular to a hyperplane when it is
perpendicular to every line in the hyperplane. For this to happen
it is necessary and sufficient that the hyperplane meet the hyper
plane at infinity in the polar plane of the trace of the line. From
this follows at once the theorem:
/. Through any point either in or without a hyperplane one and
only one straight line can be drawn perpendicular to the hyperplane ;
and from any point in or without a straight line one and only one
hyperplane can be drawn perpendicular to it.
Since in the plane at infinity the polar plane with respect to the
absolute of the point A:B:C:D is the plane Ax +By + Cz + Dw = 0,
we have the theorem:
//. Any line perpendicular to the hyperplane Ax+By\ Cz\Dw+E=
has the direction A:B:C:D, and conversely.
Any three lines of a hyperplane which are not coplanar, and no
two of which are parallel, determine three noncollinear points of
the trace of the hyperplane at infinity. The line perpendicular to
these three lines passes through the pole of the plane determined
by the three points. Consequently we have the theorem :
///. A line perpendicular to three lines of a hyperplane which are
not coplanar, and no two of which are parallel, is perpendicular to
the hyperplane.
In particular the three lines may intersect in the same point.
Consequently we have the theorem:
IV. A line may be drawn perpendicular to three lines intersecting
in a point but not in the same plane, and it is then perpendicular to
the hyperplane determined by the three lines.
POINT COORDINATES 375
A line is perpendicular to a plane if it is perpendicular to every
line in that plane. From this we have the theorem:
V. If a line is perpendicular to a hyperplane, it is perpendicular
to every plane in the hyperplane.
The definition of perpendicularity of line and plane is the same
as in threedimensional geometry. The theorem, however, that from
a point in a plane only one line can be drawn perpendicular to it is
no longer true.
In fact, consider a plane / and any point P in it, and let the
trace of I on t = be the line L. Further, let L be the conjugate
polar line of L with respect to the absolute ( 92). Then any point
on L is the harmonic conjugate of any point on L. Hence any two
lines, one of which intersects L and the other L 1 , are perpendicular.
From P a pencil of lines may be drawn to meet L . Therefore we
have the theorem:
VI. All lines perpendicular to a plane at a fixed point lie in a plane.
The two planes are such that every line of one is perpendicular to
every line of the other.
These planes are said to be completely perpendicular. Obviously
they do not exist in ordinary threedimensional space.
The point P considered above need not lie in the plane I. Hence
we have the more general theorem:
VII. Through any point of space one plane, and only one, can be
passed completely perpendicular to a given plane.
With the same notation as before let I be a given plane, P a
point which may or may not lie in I, and PA a line perpendicular
to I, where A lies on L . Through PA pass a plane m intersecting
t = in a line M through A. If M is the conjugate polar of M,
M f intersects L in a point B, by the theory of conjugate polar lines.
Then if Q is any point of I, the line QB lies in I and is perpen
dicular to m. Therefore we have the following theorem :
VIII. If a plane m contains a line perpendicular to a plane I, the
plane I contains a line perpendicular to m.
Two planes such that each contains a line perpendicular to the
other we shall call semiperpendicular planes.
376 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
From the foregoing we easily deduce the following theorem :
IX. The necessary and sufficient condition that two planes should be
semiperpendicular is that the trace at infinity of either should intersect
in one point the conjugate polar with respect to the absolute of the trace
of the other. The necessary and sufficient condition that two planes
should be completely perpendicular is that the trace of either should
be the conjugate polar of the trace of the other.
If two semiperpendicular planes lie in the same hyperplane,
they intersect in a line and are the ordinary perpendicular planes
of threedimensional geometry. If two semiperpendicular planes
are not in the same hyperplane, they intersect in a single point. If
this point is at infinity, the two planes are also simply parallel.
In these cases the traces L and M intersect in a point C, which is
harmonic conjugate to both A and B. From this follows the
theorem :
X. Two semiperpendicular planes may be simply parallel. The
direction of the parallel lines of the two planes is then orthogonal to
the directions of the perpendicular lines.
It is to be noticed that in this case the direction of the parallel
lines is similar to that of the line of intersection of semiperpen
dicular planes in the same hyperplane.
A plane I is perpendicular to a hyperplane h when it contains
a normal line to the hyperplane. The trace L of the plane then
passes through the pole of the trace H of the hyperplane, and the
conjugate polar L of L lies in H. Therefore :
XI. If a plane is perpendicular to a hyperplane, it is completely
perpendicular to each plane of a pencil of parallel planes of the hyper
plane and semiperpendicular to every other plane of the hyperplane.
The angle between two hyperplanes may be denned as the angle
between their normal lines. Hence two hyperplanes,
Ajc+By + Cf+Djo+EJ =
and A z x + By + Of + D^w + EJ = 0,
are perpendicular when and only when
POINT COORDINATES 377
This is the condition that the traces at infinity of the two hyper
planes are such that each contains the pole of the other, as might
be inferred from the definition. From this we have the theorems :
XII. If two hyperplanes are perpendicular, the normal to either from
any point of their intersection lies in the other.
XIII. Any hyperplane passed through a normal to another hyper
plane is perpendicular to that hyperplane.
Since in t = the intersection of two planes is the conjugate
polar of the line connecting the poles of the planes, we have the
theorem :
XIV. The plane of intersection of two perpendicular hyperplanes is
completely perpendicular to any plane determined by two intersecting
normals to the hyperplanes.
In the hyperplane at infinity we may, in an infinite number of
ways, select a tetrahedron ABCD which shall be self con jugate with
respect to the absolute. From any finite point draw the lines
OA, OB, OC, OD. We have a configuration, the properties of which
are given in the following theorem :
XV. From any point in space may be drawn, in an infinite number
of ways, four mutually perpendicular lines. Every three of these lines
determines a hyperplane perpendicular to the hyperplane determined
by any other three. Every pair of the lines determines a plane which
is completely perpendicular to that determined by the other pair of
the lines.
A special case of the configuration described above is that formed
by the coordinate hyperplanes X= 0, Y= 0, Z= 0, W= 0.
By (6), 157, the cosines of the angles made with the coordi
nate hyperplanes by the hyperplane
Ax + By 4 Cz + Div +E=
A B
are
C
when
378 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
We may denote these by Z, m, n, r respectively, and write the
equation of the hyperplane in the form
Ix 4 my 4 nz + rw f p = 0,
with 1 2 + w 2 f n 2 + r 2 = l. The equation is then in the normal form,
and it is easy to show that p is the length of the perpendicular
from the origin to the plane. Also by the same methods as in
threedimensional geometry we may show that the length of the
perpendicular from any point (x^ y^ z^ w^) is Ix^+my^ nz^\ rw^+p.
Let us now take any configuration described in theorem XV,
and, writing the equation of each of the four hyperplanes in the
normal form, make the transformation of coordinates given by the
equations in nonhomogeneous coordinates:
x = l^x + m^y + n^ + r^w + p^
y = Ip + my + n 2 z + r 2 w +p z ,
4 n
with the conditions ZJ+ wijJ nf f rj =1,
l} k + m i m k + w t % H r i r k = 0.
The new coordinates are the distances from four orthogonal hyper
planes, and, in fact, our discussion shows that the same is true of
the original coordinates.
In the new system the equation for distance is unaltered, namely,
and if we place w =Q we have the ordinary Euclidean geometry
in three dimensions. This justifies the statement already made in
anticipation, which we now give as a theorem :
XVI. In fourdimensional Euclidean space the geometry in any
hyperplane, for which A* + B 2 + C 2 + D 2 = 0, is that of the usual
threedimensional Euclidean geometry.
160. Minimum lines, planes, and hyperplanes. In the discussion
of the previous section we have had to make exception of the cases
in which the direction quantities A, B, C, D satisfy the condition
:0. (1)
POINT COORDINATES 379
We shall now examine the exceptional eases.
Obviously the necessary and sufficient condition that the direction
quantities of a straight line satisfy equation (1) is that the line inter
sects the absolute, or, in other words, that the trace at infinity of the
line lies on the absolute. The necessary and sufficient condition that
the quantities A, B, C, D in an equation of a hyperplane satisfy (1) is
that the trace at infinity of the hyperplane is tangent to the absolute.
In this case the hyperplane is said to be tangent to the absolute.
The straight lines which intersect the absolute are the minimum
lines of threedimensional geometry.
In fact, the hyperplane w = 0, which by theorem XVI, 159,
represents any ordinary hyperplane, meets the absolute in the imag
inary circle at infinity, and the lines in the hyperplane which meet
the absolute are therefore the minimum lines of the hyperplane.
Also, if any line meets the absolute in a point P, a hyperplane
can evidently be determined in an infinite number of ways so as
to contain the line and not be tangent to the absolute. We have,
therefore, nothing new to add to the threedimensional properties
of minimum lines.
In fourdimensional space there go through every point co 2 mini
mum lines, one to each of the points of the absolute. These lines
form a hypercone. A hyperplane through the vertex intersects the
hypercone in general in an ordinary cone of minimum lines, and a
plane through the vertex intersects the hypercone in general in two
minimum lines.
Consider now any plane. Its trace in the hyperplane at infinity
is a straight line which may have any one of three relations to
the absolute : (1) it may intersect the absolute in two distinct
points ; (2) it may be tangent to the absolute ; (3) it may lie
entirely on the absolute.
The first case is the ordinary plane, the second the minimum
plane of threedimensional geometry. In fact, if any plane of
character (1) or (2) is given, it is clearly possible to find a hyper
plane which will contain it and not be tangent to the absolute.
The ordinary plane is characterized by the property that through
any point of it go two minimum lines, and the minimum plane of
threedimensional type by the property that through every point
of it goes one minimum line.
380 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
The third type of plane is, however, not found in the ordinary
threedimensional geometry. For if a plane meets the absolute in
a straight line, any hyperplane containing it contains this line and
therefore intersects the absolute in two straight lines. The geometry
in this hyperplane is therefore a geometry in which the imaginary
circle at infinity is replaced by two intersecting straight lines. Its
properties will therefore differ from those of Euclidean space.
A plane at infinity intersecting the absolute in two straight lines
is tangent to it. Therefore a plane of the third type lies only in
hyperplanes tangent to the absolute. A unique property of these
planes is that any straight line in them meets the absolute and is
therefore a minimum line. In other words, the distance between
any two points on planes of this type is zero. We shall refer to a
plane of this type as a minimum plane of the second kind.
Consider now a hyperplane which is tangent to the absolute.
The equation of such a hyperplane is
Ax +By + Cz +Dw +E=
with ^4 2 fI? 2 + (7 2 fD 2 = 0. From analogy to threedimensional
geometry we shall call such a hyperplane a minimum hyperplane.
It has already been remarked that in a minimum hyperplane we
have at infinity two intersecting straight lines instead of an imagi
nary circle. There will be a unique direction in the hyperplane;
namely, that toward the point of intersection of the two imagi
nary lines at infinity. For convenience we shall call a line with
this direction an axis of the hyperplane.
Through every point of the hyperplane goes an axis, and through
every axis go two minimum planes of the second kind, each con
taining one of the two intersecting lines at infinity. Any other
plane through the axis is an ordinary minimum plane. The cone
of minimum lines through a point splits up, then, into two inter
secting planes.
Any plane not containing the axis intersects the absolute in two
distinct points and is therefore an ordinary plane.
Since a minimum hyperplane intersects t = in a plane tangent
to the absolute, the normal to the hyperplane passes through the
point of tangency, which is the point of intersection of the two
straight lines at infinity. Hence the axes of a minimum hyperplane
POINT COORDINATES 381
are the normals to the hyperplane. The axes are therefore normal
also to every plane in the minimum hyperplane.
Let the plane of the figure (Fig. 60) be the plane of intersection
of a minimum hyperplane with the hyperplane at infinity, and let
the two lines OA and OB be the intersection of the plane with the
absolute. Then, if L is the trace of any ordinary plane, the normal
to the plane passes through and is an axis of the hyperplane.
Two ordinary planes in the minimum
hyperplane, therefore, cannot be per
pendicular to each other.
But consider a minimum plane of
the first kind whose trace on the hyper
plane at infinity is the line OQ. The
conjugate polar of the line OQ is a line
OR. Consequently any two minimum
planes of the first kind whose traces
are OQ and OR respectively are com
pletely perpendicular. This state of FIG 6Q
two completely perpendicular planes
lying in the same hyperplane cannot be met in an ordinary hyper
plane and is therefore not found in Euclidean geometry. This
is due to the fact that in an ordinary hyperplane only one mini
mum plane can be passed through a minimum line, while in a
minimum hyperplane a pencil of minimum planes can be passed
through an axis of the hyperplane, and these planes are paired
into completely perpendicular planes.
Finally, it may be remarked that a minimum plane of the second
kind is, in a sense, completely perpendicular to itself, for the lines
OA and OB are each self conjugate.
For the sake of an analytic treatment let us suppose that a
minimum hyperplane has the equation z i w = 0, and let us make
the nonorthogonal change of coordinates expressed by the equations
z = z + iw,
w f = z iw.
Then the formula for distance becomes
382 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
In the hyperplane w = a point is fixed by the coordinates
x, y, z\ and the distance between two points becomes
The equation of the two straight lines at infinity is
and the equations of any axis of the hyperplane is x = x^ y = y Q .
In the formula for distance the coordinate z does not occur.
Hence the distance between two points is unaltered by displacing
either of them along an axis.
Consider the equation
This represents the locus of points at a constant distance a from
a fixed point x Qj y^ z, where z is arbitrary. From the form of the
equation the locus is a cylinder whose elements are axes. Every
point on the cylinder is at a constant distance a from each point
of the axis x = # , y y^.
The above are some of the peculiar properties of a minimum
hyperplane.
161. Hypersurfaces of second order. Consider the equation
2)0*% = OH = a ik) CD
in the homogeneous coordinates of a fourdimensional space in
which no hyperplane is singled out to be given special significance
as the hyperplane at infinity. The space is, therefore, a projective
space. The student will have no difficulty in showing, by the methods
of 82, that the coordinates may, if desired, be interpreted as
equal to the distances from five hyperplanes, each distance multi
plied by an arbitrary constant. However, we shall make no use of
this property, and mention it only for the analogy between the present
coordinates and quadriplanar coordinates in threedimensional space.
Equation (1) represents a hypersurface of the second order. If
y { and z i are any fixed points, the line
px^y.+ tet (2)
intersects the hypersurface in general in two distinct or coincident
points or lies entirely on it. Therefore any hyperplane intersects
the hypersurface in a twodimensional extent which is met by any
POINT COORDINATES 383
line in two points and is therefore a quadric surface, or else the
hyperplane lies entirely on the hypersurface. Similarly, any plane
intersects the hypersurface (1) in a conic or lies entirely on it.
Let us consider these intersections more carefully. If in equa
tion (2) the point y. is taken on the hypersurface, the line will meet
the hypersurface (1) in two distinct points unless the equation
2<W*= (3)
is satisfied by the point z t . In the latter case the line (2) meets
(1) in two points coinciding with y { , unless also z. is on the hyper
surface, in which case the line lies entirely on the hypersurface.
This means that if y ( is on the hypersurface (1), any point on
the hyperplane 2<W t =0 (4)
but not on the hypersurface, if connected with y^ determines a
straight line tangent to the hypersurface, and this property is
enjoyed by no other point. Hence the hyperplane is the locus of
tangent lines at y i and is called the tangent hyperplane.
The hyperplane (4) intersects the hypersurface in an extent of
two dimensions which has the property that any point on it deter
mines with y. a line entirely on it. It is therefore a cone of second
order. Therefore, through any point of the hypersurface goes a cone
of straight lines lying entirely on the hypersurface.
An exception to the above occurs when y { is a point satisfying
the equations ^^ a ^ + a ^ + a ^ + a ^ = . (5)
Such a point, if it exists, is a singular point. At a singular point
the equation of the tangent hyperplane becomes illusive. Any line
through a singular point meets the hypersurface in two coincident
points, and if any point on the hypersurface is connected with the
singular point by a straight line, the line lies entirely on the hyper
surface. Equations (5) do not always have a solution ; but if they
have, the solution is a point of the surface, since equation (1) is
homogeneous.
If y i is any point, whether on the hypersurface or not, equation (4)
defines a hyperplane called the polar hyperplane of y.. If the equation
of the polar hyperplane is written in the form
u i x i + V* + Va + V 4 + u s x s =
we have pu t = a^, + a ia y 3 + a i9 y 9 + a i4 y 4 + a i6 y & . (6)
384 FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
From this it follows that any point has a definite polar hyper
plane. The converse is true, however, only if the determinant
does not vanish. The vanishing of this determinant is the necessary
and sufficient condition that equations (5) should have a solution.
Therefore we say:
If a hyperplane of the second order has no singular points, to every
point in space corresponds a unique polar hyperplane, and to every
hyperplane corresponds a unique pole. The necessary and sufficient con
dition for this to occur is that the discriminant \a ik \ should not vanish.
If the hypersurface has a singular point, it is easy to see that
every polar hyperplane passes through that point. Therefore only
hyperplanes through the singular points can have poles.
The properties of polar hyperplanes are similar to those of polar
planes of threedimensional geometry, arid the theorems of 92 may,
with slight modifications, be repeated for the four dimensions.
We may also employ some of the methods of 93 in classi
fying hypersurfaces of the second order. Let us take the general
case in which no singular points occur. There is then no difficulty
in applying these methods to show that the equation may be
reduced to
The cases of hypersurfaces with singular points are more tedious
if the elementary methods are used. It is preferable in these cases
to use the methods of elementary divisors.
162. Duality between line geometry in three dimensions and point
geometry in four dimensions. Since the straight line in a three
dimensional space is determined by four coordinates, it will be
dualistic with the point in four dimensions. In order to have
coordinates of the fourdimensional space which are dualistic with
the Klein coordinates of the straight line, we will introduce hexa
spherical coordinates in fourdimensional space analogous to the
pentaspherical coordinates of threedimensional space.
POINT COORDINATES 385
Following the analogy of 117, 123, let us place
= 22T,
(2)
where x* + x* + xl h xf + x* + x* = 0.
The coordinates x t are hexaspherical coordinates. The locus at
infinity has the equation x l f ix^ = 0, and the real point at infinity
has the coordinates 1 : : : : : i.
The equation
is that of the hypersphere
There are four varieties of hyperspheres :
1. Proper hyperspheres, ^af^O,
2. Proper hyperplanes, ^ 2 =^0,
3. Point hyperspheres, V 2 =0,
4. Minimum hyperplanes, 2 2 = 0,
On the other hand, we may interpret the coordinates x i as Klein
coordinates of a straight line in a space of three dimensions.
For convenience we will denote by S B the threedimensional
point space in which x { are line coordinates, and by 2 4 the four
dimensional point space in which x i are hexaspherical coordinates
of a point. Then the coordinates 1:0:0:0:0:^, which in 2 4
represent the real point at infinity, represent in S 8 a straight line Z,
which has no peculiar relation to the line space. In fact, I acquires
its unique significance only because of its dualistic relation to S 4 .
Also the equation 2^+12^=0, which, in 2 4 , represents the hyper
plane at infinity, represents in S 3 a special line complex c, of which
the line I is the axis. With these preliminary remarks we may
exhibit in parallel columns the relation between S 8 and 2 i .
386
FOURDIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Point.
Real point at infinity.
Proper hypersphere.
Proper hyperplane.
Point hypersphere.
Center of point hypersphere.
Minimum hyperplane.
Hyperplane at infinity.
Two points on same minimum
line.
Any imaginary point at infinity.
Points common to two hyper
spheres.
Vertices of two point hyper
spheres which pass through the
intersections of two hyperspheres.
Circle defined by the intersection
of three hyperspheres.
Two circles such that each point
of one is the center of a point hyper
sphere passing through the other.
T 3
Line.
Line I.
Nonspecial line complex not con
taining I.
Nonspecial complex containing I.
Special complex not containing I.
Axis of special complex.
Special complex containing I.
Special complex c with axis I.
Two intersecting lines.
Line intersecting I.
Line congruence.
Axes of line congruence.
Regulus.
Two reguli generating the same
quadric surface.
The use of hexaspherical coordinates gives a fourdimensional
space in which the ideal elements differ from those introduced by
the use of Cartesian coordinates, as has been explained in 123.
Such a space is in a onetoone relation with the manifold of straight
lines in g .
If we wish to retain in 2 4 the ideal elements of the Cartesian
geometry, the relation between S 8 and 2 4 ceases to be onetoone for
certain exceptional elements. To show this we will modify equa
tions (1) by introducing homogeneous coordinates in 2 4 and have
= 2 xt ,
POINT COORDINATES 387
If we use these equations to establish the relation between the
lines of S s and the points of 2 4 , we shall have the same results
as before, with the following exceptions, all of which relate to the
ideal elements of 2 4 . Any point in 2 4 on the hyperplane at infinity,
but not on the absolute, corresponds to the line I ; and the line I
corresponds to all points on t = 0, but not on the absolute.
Any point on the absolute corresponds to a line in $ 3 which at
first sight seems entirely indeterminate, but if we write equations
(3) in the form
it appears that a point on the absolute corresponds to a line for
wnicn o^ : # 6 = 1 : z, x^\x^.x^\x b = x\y\z\w.
This is a onedimensional extent of lines. One line of the extent
is always /, and another is \\x\y\z\w.i. The general line may
be written as (1 4 X): x : y : z : w : i(l + X). By 131 the extent is,
therefore, a pencil containing I. Then, to any point on the absolute
corresponds any line of a certain pencil containing /.
It is easy to show that any line which intersects I corresponds
to a definite point on the absolute.
It is, of course, possible to interpret equation t = in equations (3)
as the equation of any hyperplane in a protective space with the
coordinates x : y : z : w : t. The absolute is then replaced by a quadric
surface <E> in the hyperplane t = 0. The correspondence between
S s and 2 4 is then less special than the one we have considered.
EXERCISES
1. Show that orthogonal hyperspheres correspond to complexes in
involution.
2. Define inversion with respect to a hypersphere F in 2 4 and show
that two inverse points with respect to F correspond to two lines in
5 8 which are conjugate polars with respect to the line complex which
corresponds to F.
CHAPTER XX
GEOMETRY OF N DIMENSIONS
163. Projective space. We shall say that a point in n dimensions
is defined by the n ratios of n + I coordinates; namely,
The values of the coordinates may be real or imaginary, but the
indeterminate ratios : : : : shall not be allowed. The
totality of points thus obtained is a space of n dimensions de
noted by S n .
A straight line in S n is defined by the equations
/>*,.= &+X2,., (i=l, 2, ...,w+l) (2)
where y { and z t are constants and X is an independent variable.
Obviously y. and z i are coordinates of two points on the line, which
is thus uniquely determined by any two points in S n . Also, any
two points of a straight line may be used to define it.
A plane in S n is defined by the equations
px i= y L + XZi+pWp (i =1, 2, . . ., n + 1) (3)
where y^ z { , w i are the coordinates of three points not on the same
straight line, and X, /A are independent variables. Therefore a plane
is uniquely determined by any three noncollinear points of S n , and
any three such points on a plane may be used to define it.
In general, a manifold of r dimensions lying in S n may be defined
by the equations
, (1=1,2,..., *+l) (4)
where y. are constants not connected by linear relations of the same
form as (4), and \ k are r independent variables. Such a manifold
is called a linear space of r dimensions and will be denoted by /.
It is also called an rflat. A straight line is therefore a linear space
of one dimension (/), a plane is a linear space of two dimensions
388
POINT COORDINATES 389
2), and S n itself is a linear space of n dimensions. From the
definition follow at once the theorems :
/. A linear space of r dimensions is uniquely determined by any
r h 1 points of S n not lying in a linear space of lower dimensions, and
any r Hl points of an S r may be used to define it.
II. A linear space of r dimensions is determined by a linear space
of r 1 dimensions and any point not in that latter space.
It is easy to see that a linear space of n 1 dimensions is also
defined by a linear equation
a^h 2 :r 2 + . . . + a n x H + a n + ,x n + l = 0, (5)
which is analogous to the equation of a plane in three dimensions.
An $ _! is therefore called a hyperplane.
It is also easy to see that the coordinates x f which satisfy equa
tions (4) satisfy n r equations of the form (5), and conversely.
Therefore
///. A linear space of r dimensions may be defined by n r inde
pendent linear equations, and is therefore the intersection of n r
hyperplanes.
In S n we shall be interested in projective geometry ; that is, in
properties of the space which are unaltered by the transformation
where the determinant \a ik \ does not vanish. Accordingly, if we
are concerned with geometry in an S r we may equate to X r
X r+3 , ., 3T n+1 , respectively, the lefthand members of the n
equations which define it, while leaving x^ # 2 , , x r+l unchanged.
Now placing X r + 2 , X r+3 , , X n + 1 equal to zero, we have left the
r hi homogeneous coordinates x v ar 2 , , x r + l to define a point in S r .
It follows that an S, is an S n with a smaller number of dimensions,
and that any projective properties of S n which are independent of
the value of n apply to any S ..
Besides the linear spaces there may exist in S n other spaces.
Such spaces may be defined by equations of the form
+ 2
T
390 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
where </> t are functions of r independent variables X r If <^ are
algebraic functions, equations (7) define an algebraic space. If we
substitute the values of x i from (7) in the r equations,
which define an $,[_,., we shall have r equations to determine the r
variables \. The solutions of these equations used in (7) give the
number of points of the space (7) which lie in an S^_ r . Let this
number be g. Then g is called the degree of the space (7), and
that space is denoted by $,?, where r gives the dimensions of the
space and g the number of points in which it is cut by a general S n _ r .
Thus Sf represents a curve which is cut by any hyperplane in g
points, and S^_ 1 a hypersurface which is cut by any straight line
in g points.
A space S? may also be defined by n r simultaneous equations.
Usually the same space may be represented by either this method
or by that of equations (7), but sometimes this is not possible.
If *_! is represented by a single algebraic equation, g represents
the degree of the equation. If Sf is represented by n r equations,
g is in general the product of the degrees of the equations.
In this chapter we shall confine our attention to S^ defined by
the equation
f=n + l k=n+l
i=l *=1
and sections of the same.
164. Intersection of linear spaces. Consider two linear spaces
SJ. and S^ . A point x^ which is common to the two, must satisfy
the 2 n r^ r 2 equations in n + 1 homogeneous variables :
/fUXr _i_ //IXy _l_ _1_ /Y<!) /y
"l ^i i t*o X 2 T T w n + i x ii v,
POINT COORDINATES 391
We have three cases to distinguish :
1. If 2 n r l r 2 > n, equations (1) have in general no solution.
There results the theorem :
/. Two linear spaces Si and Si have in general no point in common
when r^+r z < n.
For an example consider two straight lines in S 3 or a straight
line and a plane in S 4 .
2. If 2 n r^ r 2 = n, equations (1) have in general one solution.
There results the theorem :
//. Two linear spaces Si and Si intersect in general in one point
when r +
Examples are two straight lines in $ 2 , a line and a plane in g ,
and two planes in $ 4 .
3. If 2 n r^ r 2 < n, equations (1) have in general an infinite
number of solutions. Let us suppose that r l f r 2 = n } a. The
number of equations (1) is then n a, and they therefore define
an S^. There results the theorem:
///. Two linear spaces Si and S , where r 1 H r r = n f a, intersect
in general in an S^.
Examples of this theorem are that in S 3 two planes intersect in
a straight line, and that in $ 4 two hyperplanes intersect in a plane.
Of course any two linear spaces may so lie as to intersect in
more points than the above general theorems call for. Let us sup
pose then that Si and Si intersect in an S^. Now Si is defined by
r i + l points, of which a+1 may be taken in S^. Similarly, Si is
defined by r 2 + l points, of which a+1 may be taken in S^. If,
therefore, we take a f 1 points in S^ r^ a other points in S 1 but
not in Sh and r 2 a points in Si but not in S^ we have r l +r 2 a+~L
points, which may be used to define an Sl +r _ a > This Sl +r _ a con
tains all of Si and all of Si since it contains rj + 1 points of the
former and r 2 +l points of the latter.
Therefore we have the theorem :
IV. If Si and Si intersect in an S^ they lie in an Si + r _ a .
An example of this theorem is that in S s if two straight lines
(/) intersect in a point ( ), they lie in a plane ([). Another
392 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
example is that in 4 if two planes (, ) intersect in a straight
line ($/), they lie in an /S 8 .
Conversely, we have the theorem :
V. If S and S^ lie in an S m (m < n), they intersect in an S r ^ r ^_ m
if r^+r^m.
This is only a restatement of theorem III, since by the previous
section we have only to consider the S m in which the two linear
spaces lie.
Similar theorems may be proved for the intersections of the
curved spaces S l and S 9 r *. These we leave for the student.
EXERCISES
1. Show that the hyperplanes in S n may be considered as points in a
space of n dimensions S n .
2. Show that if S^ contains p f 1 points of S^ it contains all
points of Sp.
3. Show that through any Si may be passed ao""*" 1 hyperplanes,
any n k of which determine Si ; that is, in the notation of Ex. 1 any
Si is common to a Xti
4. Show that two algebraic spaces S? n and S* do not in general
intersect if in + m < n, and intersect in an S g a 9 if m \ m = n \ a.
5. Show that every S ^ is contained in an ^ l + 1 .
6. Show that every curve of order g is contained in a linear space of
a number of dimensions not superior to g.
165. The quadratic hypersurface. The equation
i=n + l k=n+l
C 1 )
defines an >SJ_ 1? which we shall call a quadratic hypersurface or,
more concisely, a quadric. For convenience we shall denote the
surface by </>.
Any line px i =y i \\z i (2)
meets c/> in two points corresponding to values of X given by the
equati 2 Xa^ + X 2 a z ., % = 0. (3)
POINT COORDINATED 393
If ^a ik y^ t = 0, the points # t . and z i are harmonic conjugates with
respect to the points in which the line (2) intersects <, and are called
conjugate points. Therefore, if y { is fixed, any point on the locus
W*=0 (4)
is a harmonic conjugate of y.. This locus is a hyperplane called
the polar hyperplane of y i with respect to the quadric.
If y { is also on the quadric, both roots of (3) are zero, and the
line (2) touches the hypersurface in two coincident points at y i9
or lies entirely on </>. The polar (4) then becomes the tangent
hyperplane, the locus of all lines tangent to < at y t . In no other
case does the polar contain the point y { .
It follows directly, either from the harmonic property or from
equation (4), that if a point P is on the polar of a point Q, then
Q is on the polar of P.
More generally, let y i describe an S r defined by
/>y,=yS"+Xtf>+...+\tf+ >. (5)
The polar hyperplanes are
Values of x i common to these hyperplanes satisfy the r +1 equations
(6)
and therefore form an /Sj_ r _ r The two spaces S r and. S^ l _ r _ l are
conjugate polar spaces. Each point of one is conjugate to each
point of the other. Conjugate polar lines in $ 3 form a simple
example.
If the equation of the polar hyperplane is written in the form
we have /w* = 2 a ,*y. CO
Let us consider first the case in which the determinant a a ,
which is the discriminant of (1), does not vanish. Then if the
quantities u k in (7) are replaced by zero, the equations have no
solution. Therefore all possible values of y. give definite values of
u k which cannot all become zero. Again, equations (7), as they
394 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
stand, can be solved for y it so that any assumed values of u k deter
mine unique values of y i which cannot all be zero. Summing up,
we have the theorem:
If the discriminant of $ does not vanish, every point of S n has a
definite polar hyperplane, and every hyperplane in S n is the polar
of a definite point. In particular, at every point of <f> there is a
definite tangent plane.
Consider now the case in which the discriminant a ijfc  vanishes.
There will then be solutions of the equations
Any point whose coordinates satisfy (8) lies on </>, since its
coordinates satisfy the equation
and is called a singular point of $.
Obviously, at a singular point the tangent hyperplane is indeter
minate, and in a sense any hyperplane through a singular point
may be called a tangent hyperplane.
Equation (3) shows that any line through a singular point cuts
the quadric in two points coincident with the singular point, which
is thus a double point of the quadric. It also appears from (3)
that any point of <f> may be joined to any singular point by a straight
line lying entirely on <f>.
Any point y. not a singular point has a definite polar hyperplane
Jfc=n+l fi= n +l
*=i
and since this may be written
it passes through all the singular points.
The number of the singular points of <f> will depend upon the
vanishing, or not, of the minors of  a ik . In the simplest case, in which
\a ik \ vanishes but not all of its first minors vanish, equations (8)
POINT COORDINATES 395
have one and only one solution, and < has one singular point.
Therefore the quadric consists of oo n ~ 2 lines passing through the
singular point.
Suppose, more generally, the minors of  a ik which contain n + 2 r
or more rows vanish, but that at least one minor with n + 1 r rows
does not vanish. The equations (8) then contain n rfl inde
pendent equations, and the singular points therefore form an S r _ r
The quadric is then said to be rfold specialized. The number r is
so chosen that a onefold specialized quadric has a single singular
point, a twofold specialized quadric has a line of singular points,
and so on.
Any S r which is determined by the S r _^ of singular points and
another point P on <> lies entirely on <. This follows from the fact
that all points of the S r lie on some line through P and a singular
point, and, as we have seen, these lines lie entirely on <f>. In par
ticular, if r = 2, the quadric consists of planes through a singular
line ; if r = 3, the quadric consists of spaces of three dimensions
through a singular plane ; and so forth.
A group of wf1 points which are two by two conjugate with
respect to <f> form a self con jugate (wJl)gon. There always exist
such (n + l)gons if the quadric is nonspecialized. This may be
seen by extending the procedure used in 92. By a change of
coordinates the n + 1 hyperplanes which are determined by each
set of 7ipoints in the (wfl)gon may be used in place of the
original hyperplanes x i = 0. In the new coordinates any point
whose coordinates are of the form x k = l, # t .= (i=fc) has the
hyperplane x t =Q for its polar. The equation of </> then becomes
<**+< + +.*.%! = <> (9)
Now the vanishing of the discriminant and its minors denotes
geometric properties which are independent of the coordinates used.
Hence we infer that for the general quadric all the coefficients c i
differ from zero. If the quadric is rfold specialized, it may be
shown that equation (9) may still be obtained, but that r of
the coefficients vanish.
If the quadric is general, by another change of coordinates
equation (9) may be put in the form
396 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
EXERCISES
1. Prove that all points of any S^ through the S r _ l of singular points
have the same polar hyperplane, which passes through Sji> and that,
conversely, any hyperplane through the singular S r _ 1 has for its pole
any point of a certain S r .
2. Show that for any quadric which is rfold specialized, any tangent
hyperplane at an ordinary point is tangent to the quadric at all points
of an $1. lying on <f> and determined by the point of contact and the
singular S r _ l .
3. Show that if <f> is more than once specialized, any hyperplane is a
tangent hyperplane at one or more of the points of the singular S r _ l .
4. Prove that every S^ through a point y { intersects < in an 8%^ and
intersects the polar hyperplane of y { in an S n _ l} which is the polar hyper
plane of y { with respect to the S^_ l in the space S m .
6. Prove that if 8, and S H _ r _ l are conjugate polar spaces, the tangent
hyperplanes to <f> at points of the intersections of < with one of these
are exactly the tangent hyperplanes of < which pass through the other.
6. Prove that any plane through the vertex of a hypercone inter
sects it in general in two straight lines, but that if n > 3, it may lie
entirely on the hypercone.
166. Intersection of a quadric by hyperplanes. Let < be a quadric
hypersurface in wspace with the equation
= =
It is intersected by any hyperplane If in a quadric hypersurface $
lying in H. To prove this we have simply to note that the equation
of H may be taken as # w + 1 = without changing the form of (1).
We proceed to determine the conditions under which <// is spe
cialized. If <f) f has a singular point P, any line in If through P
intersects < , and therefore $, in two coincident points in P. There
fore, either H is tangent to <f> at P, or P is a singular point of <f>.
Conversely, if H is tangent to </> at a point P, or if H passes through
a singular point P of <, then < has a singular point at P.
If < is a nonspecialized quadric, the hyperplane H has at most
one point of tangency. Hence :
/. A nonspecialized quadric is intersected by any nontangent hyper
plane in a nonspecialized quadric of one lower dimension, and is
intersected by a tangent hyperplane in a oncespecialized quadric
with its singular point at the point of tangency.
POINT COORDINATES 397
If the quadric </> is once specialized, having a singular point A,
any hyperplane which is tangent to <j) at a point B distinct from A
is also tangent to $ at all points of the line AB (Ex. 2, 165).
Hence :
II. If the quadric c/> has one singular point A, any hyperplane which
does not pass through A intersects < in a nonspecialized quadric of one
lower dimension; any hyperplane through A but not tangent at any
other point intersects <f> in a oncespecialized quadric, with a singular
point at A; and any hyperplane tangent along the line AB intersects
<t> in a twicespecialized quadric with the line AB as a singular line.
More generally, let $> be an rfold specialized quadric containing
a singular <SJ_ 1? which we shall call S. Any hyperplane meets S in
an $_ 2 or else completely contains S. Moreover, if H is tangent to
<f> at some point P not in $, it is tangent at all points of the S r
determined by P and , and therefore contains S. From these facts
we have the following theorem:
III. If the quadric $ is rfold specialized, having a singular
(r V)flat S, any hyperplane H not containing S intersects <j) in an
(r V)fold specialized quadric whose singular (r ^flat is the
intersection of H and S; any hyperplane containing S but not tangent
to </> intersects $ in an rfold specialized quadric whose singular
(r V)flat is S; and any hyperplane tangent to (f) at P intersects </> in
an (r + V)fold specialized quadric whose singular rflat is determined
by P and S.
Consider, now, the intersection of < and the two hyperplanes
which we shall call H^ and H Z respectively. H^ intersects <f> in a
quadric $ lying in S n _ v and H 2 intersects </> in a quadric (/>", which
lies in the S n _ 2 formed by the intersection of H 1 and H 2 . Hence
the common intersection of the quadric (1) and the hyperplanes (2)
is a quadric of n 3 dimensions lying in a space of n 2 dimensions.
This quadric is also the intersection of the quadric determined by
<> and H l and that determined by < and H^,
This quadric may also be obtained as the intersection of </> and
any two hyperplanes of the pencil
=0, (3)
398 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETBY
in which there are in general two hyperplanes tangent to $ and
fixing two points of tangency on </>. Hence we have the theorem :
IV. The intersection of a quadric surface <f) by an S n _ 2 formed by
two hyperplanes consists in general of an Sf } _ z formed by the inter
section of two hypercones lying on cf>. The S^ 8 has the property
that any point on it may be joined to each of two fixed points on </>
by straight lines lying entirely on <f).
Of course the fixed points and the straight lines mentioned do
not in general belong to the S^ 9 .
We shall examine this configuration more in detail for the case
in which < is not specialized, and shall assume the equation of <f>
in the form ^ = 0. (4)
Then the condition that a hyperplane of the pencil (3) is
tangent is ^+^^,+ ^^0. (5)
If the roots of equation (5) are distinct, there are two tangent
hyperplanes in the pencil (3), and we have the general case described
in theorem IV. If the roots of (5) are equal, there is only one
tangent hyperplane, and the corresponding hypercone on <f) is not
sufficient to determine the >S 2 1 3 , but must be taken with another
hyperplane section.
Finally, equation (5) may be identically satisfied. This happens
when
which express the facts that each of the hyperplanes 11^ and JT 2
given by equations (2) are tangent to c/>, and that the point of
tangency of each lies on the other. Then any one of the hyper
planes of the pencil (3) is tangent to $, and the point of tangency
is fl f + \b { , so that the points of tangency lie on a straight line.
The pencil of hyperplanes (3) consists, therefore, of the hyperplanes
tangent to <f> at the points of a straight line on (f>. Let us call this
line h. Then all points on the S^ 8 determined by <, H v and H 2
may be joined to any point of h by means of a straight line lying
on <. Let y. be a point on f! 3 . Then any point on the line joining
y { to a point of h is .+ X&. + py.. The coordinates of this point
satisfy equations (2) and (4) by virtue of (6) and the hypothesis
POINT COORDINATES 399
that y. satisfies these equations. Consequently in this case *S 2 1 3 is
a specialized quadric with A as a singular line.
Consider, now, the intersection of <f> by an S H _ S denned by the
hyperplanes =  = 0. (7)
These determine with $ an $,fl 4 , which may also be determined
as the intersection of $, and any three linearly independent hyper
planes of the bundle denned by
2)(a i +XJ < + ^,.)^=0. (8)
Among these there are oo 1 tangent hyperplanes. If the equation
of (j> is in the form (4), the tangent hyperplanes are given by values
of X and /t, which satisfy the equation
5)(+^,+/*O a =0, (9)
and the points of tangency of these hyperplanes are then a f f X6 t .+/*c t ..
These points of tangency therefore form an ${ 2) , or curve of second
order lying on <, and every point of the ^ 2 1 4 which we are con
sidering may be joined to each point of this curve by a straight
line on <.
Equation (8) is identically satisfied when each of the hyper
planes (7) is tangent to < and the points of tangency of each lies
on the other two. Each hyperplane (8) is then a tangent hyper
plane, and the points of tangency are a. + \b { f pc^ where X, ft are
unrestricted. The bundle therefore consists of all hyperplanes
whose points of tangency are the points of a plane lying on </>.
Therefore each point of the /S 2 2 4 is joined to each point of this
special plane by lines lying on $ and on the ^ 2 1 4 . Therefore the
>S 2 1 4 is in this case a specialized quadric with that plane as a
singular plane.
Consider, now, the general case of the intersection of </> by the
S r n ic defined by the k hyperplanes
2XX.= 0. (Z = l, 2, ...,&) (10)
This is an S ( _ k _ v which may also be obtained as the intersection
of (f> and any Jc hyperplanes of the system
in which there are generally oo*~ 2 tangent hyperplanes.
400 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETBY
In fact, if we limit ourselves to a nonspecialized </> and take its
equation as (4), the condition that a hyperplane (11) should be
tangentis ^W+W + >WO = 0, (12)
and the points of tangency are then a { V+ \api  + X /fc _ 1 af
where, of course, \ satisfy (12). These points form, therefore, a
S { *}. 2 on </>, and any hypercone with its vertex on this S1 2 passes
through the S^lt^ which we are discussing. We have, therefore,
the theorem :
V. The intersection of a nonspecialized quadric $ by an S n _ k defined
by Jc hyperplanes is an S k _i which, in general, has the property that
each of its points may be joined to each point of a certain Sf^_ z on <
by straight lines lying on <$>.
According to this theorem we have on $ two spaces, S^ k _^ and
$i 2 2> such that each point of either is connected to each point of
the other by straight lines on <. It is obvious that the condition
must hold 2 ^k^n 1.
If n = 3, the two spaces are $ 2) and Sj?\ each of which con
sists of a pair of points. If n = 4, the two spaces are { 2) and
Sf\ one of which is a curve of second order and the other a pair
of points. If n = 5, we have either an S^ connected by straight
lines with an /S$ 2) , or an $J 2) connected in a similar manner with
another S?\
In the first and last of the examples just given we have two
spaces of the same number of dimensions occupying with respect
to each other the special relation described in the theorem. In
order that this should happen, it is necessary that n k \=k 2;
7i + l
whence k = . Hence it is only in spaces of odd dimensions
&
that two quadric spaces of an equal number of dimensions should
so lie on the quadric < that each point of one is connected with each
point of the other by straight lines on $. The number of dimen
sions of these spaces is one less than half the number of dimensions
of the quadric.
Returning to equation (12) we see that it is identically satisfied
when the hyperplanes (10) are each tangent to <f> and the point
of tangency of each lies on each of the others. Then the system (11)
POINT COORDINATES 401
consists of hyperplanes tangent to (j> at the points of an S k _ l lying
on <f). The S^^^ determined by < and (10) is then a &fold spe
cialized quadric with the aforementioned S k _ l as a singular locus.
167. Linear spaces on a quadric. It is a familiar fact that straight
lines lie on a quadric in three dimensions. We shall generalize this
property by determining the linear spaces which lie on a quadric
in n dimensions. Let the quadric (f> be given as in 166, and let
S r be a linear space denned by the n + 1 equations
pxi=^+\y?++\y ( r" (i)
The necessary and sufficient condition that z. of (1) should lie
on <f> for all values of \ is that y { should satisfy the r+1 equations
f^ (I = 1, 3, . . ., r +1) (2)
and the ^  equations
y/vr=<>, a**), <* m=i, 2,...,
of which the first set express the fact that each point y ( ? is on <,
and the second set say that each point is in the tangent hyper
plane to (/> at each of the other points.
Take any point P l on < and let T x be the tangent hyperplane
at P r Then T^ intersects <f> in a specialized quadric S ( n *l 2 . Take P^
any point on S ( ^ 2 . The line P^ then lies on < by the conditions (2)
and (3) and on S_ 2 , because >S 2 1 2 is specialized. The hyperplane
T 2 tangent to <j> at P 2 is also tangent to /S^ 2 and intersects the
latter in an S ( ^ 3 which contains P v P r T 2 will also contain other
points of fI 3 if n 3 > 1; that is, n > 4. If this condition is met,
take jfj in iSf! 3 but not in Pf^. The three points 7J, ^, ^ determine
an $2 which lies on <f> by virtue of equations (2) and (3).
The hyperplane T 3 , which is tangent to <j> at I, is also tan
gent to S1 B and intersects it in an f! 4 which contains S^. It will
contain other points of /S 2 2 4 if TI 4 > 2 ; that is, n > 6. If this
condition is met we may take another point, P, on this < 2 1 4 but
not on S! 2 . The four points ^, ^, ^J, JJ now determine an S B which
is on <j) by the conditions (2) and (3).
This process may be continued as long as the condition for the
value of n found at each step is met. Suppose we have determined
402 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
in this way an $_! lying on </> by means of r points, the tangent
hyperplanes at which have in common with (/> an S^ r _ l contain
ing #_ r If nfl>rl, that is, if r<, this S^ r _, has
points which are not on ^_ r Take P r + v one such point. It deter
mines with S r _i an S r lying on </>. The process may be continued as
long as r <  but not longer. Since the dimensions of the quadric <
n l
are n 1, we shall write the condition for r as r = and state
the theorem:
/. A nonspecialized quadric contains linear spaces of any number
of dimensions equal to or less than half the number of dimensions of
the quadric, but contains no linear space of greater dimensions.
To find how many such linear spaces lie on the quadric, we notice
that the point P l may be determined in oo 71 " 1 ways, the point P 2 in
oo n ~ 2 ways, and so on until finally the point P r+1 is determined
in oo n ~ r ~ 1 ways. The rfl points may therefore be chosen in
oo 2) ways ; but since in any S r , r + 1 points may be chosen in
ao r(r+1) ways, the total number of S r on the quadric is oo~*~ c ~ 2) .
The number of S r which pass through a fixed point may be
determined by noticing that with JJ fixed, the r points P^ , j +1
may be determined in oo 2 ways, and that in any S r the r
points may be chosen in oo r2 ways, so that the number of different
S r through a point is oo 2 . We sum up in the theorem :
//. Upon a nonspecialized quadric there exist oo * 2) >$J, of
. 7 (2n3r3)
which oo pass through any fixed point on the quadric.
If n is odd, the greatest value of r is U ~ , and there are
2
oo* (*i) li near spaces of these dimensions on the quadric; if n is
n 2
even, the greatest value of r is , and there are oo n(n+2) linear
spaces of these dimensions on the quadric.
Let us consider more in detail the case in which n is odd, and
let us place n = 2p+l. We shall limit ourselves to a non
specialized quadric < and shall write its equation in the form
<+ <+ + <+!? xf >+1 = 0, (4)
POINT COOKDINATES 403
as may be done without loss of generality. The linear space of
the largest number of dimensions on </> is then S p , and its equations
may be written
2ip + lp + 1 , 5 ,
^+1 = ^+1,1*1+^ + 2,2*2 + * + a p + l,p+l X p + V
where the coefficients satisfy the relations
In fact, any S p is denned by p + 1 linear equations connecting the
variables ?/. and a: f , and these equations may be put in the form (5),
provided no one of the variables u { is missing from the equations.
But if one of these variables is missing, it is clear that the S f p cannot
lie on (5). The conditions (6) are found by direct substitution
from (5) in (4).
As a consequence of equations (6), the determinant a rt =l,*
and we may divide the S p into two families, according to the value
of this determinant. Hence we have the theorem :
///. On a nompecialized quadric of dimensions 2p in a space of
odd dimensions 2j9+l there are two families of linear spaces of
dimensions p.
Now the equations of any one S p on (4) may be written by a
proper choice of coordinates without changing the form of (4), as
Ui =x { . ( t = l, 2, ...,^+1) (7)
In fact, we have simply to make a change of coordinates by
which the righthand members of equations (5) are taken equal to
x\ and then to drop the primes.
Consider, then, the intersection of (7) with any S p whose equations
are in the form (5) with \a ik \= e, where e = 1. Then (5) is of the
* Scott s "Theory of Determinants," p. 157.
404 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
same family as (7) when e = l, and is of the opposite family when
e = l. The condition for the intersection of the two S is
a u l
r n * >  a 1
p+l, 1 p + l, 2 />+l,.p+l
(8)
If jt? is odd, equation (8) is satisfied* always when e= l, but
is not satisfied when e =1 unless other relations than (6) exist
between the coefficients. If p is even, equation (8) is always satis
fied when e = 1, but is not satisfied in general when e= l. Hence
we have the theorem:
IV. If p is an odd number, two linear spaces S p of opposite families
on a quadric in a space of 2j9+l dimensions always intersect, and
two S p of the same family do not in general intersect. If p is an even
number, two S p of the same family always intersect, and two S p of
opposite families do not in general intersect.
It is easily shown that any point P on </> may be given the coor
dinates ?^=0, z t .= 0, (i = l, 2, ...,_/?), u p + l :x p+l = l:l without
changing the form of the equation (4). The tangent hyperplane T I
at P l is then u p+l x p+l = 0, and its intersection with </> is the /S^_i
Any point P 2 on this locus may be given the coordinates u { = 0,
3,.= 0, (i = l, 2, ..., p1*), ^:^ +1 :^:^ p+1 = l:l:l:l. The line
is then on $. The tangent hyperplane to ^ at ^ is then
u xx =Q and intersects S in the S_
Any point ^ on this locus can now be given the coordinates u t = 0,
and the S! 2 determined by the three points P^ P 2 , P 3 lies on </> and
has the equations u^= = u p _ 2 = x 1 = . . . = x p _ 2 = 0, u p _ l = x p _ 1 ,
u p =^ S+i = ?>*f
* Scott, r Theory of Determinants," p. 234.
POINT COORDINATES
405
Proceeding in this way we may show that any S k (k < p~) lying
on $ can be given the equations
^=^=0,
u! ~v?~; , w
*p _ k + 1 "^prfc + l.
^p+l == *>+!
without changing the form of equation (4).
Any S p on (/> has, as we have seen, the equations (5), and if it
also contains all points of (9), its equations reduce to the form
<?/ /If 1* I * . . I / W
**,! ^
<M p _ k + 1 = x p
qi nf
% + 1 ^J
where the coefficients satisfy conditions similar to (6) and
a n !
^  = e.
a p  k, 1 * a p  k, p  k
Without change of the form of equation (4) or (9) any one of
these S p can be given the equations
(12)
In fact, we have simply to make a change of variables by which
the righthand members of equations (10) become x[ and then to
drop the primes.
The S p given by (12) will intersect any S f p given by (10) always
in the points of S fc given by (9). In order that (12) and (10)
should intersect in some other point not in S t , it is necessary and
sufficient that
a u l
(13)
406 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
Now if p k is an odd number, equation (13) is always satis
fied when e = 1 ; and if p k is an even number, it is always satisfied
when e= 1. Further, we notice that if (12) and (10) have in
common a point P which is outside of S k , they have in common
the S k+l determined by S f k and P\ and since (12) and (10) are on <,
this S k+l is on <. Moreover, p k is odd if p is odd and k even
or if p is even and k odd, and p k is even if both p and k are
odd or if both p and k are even.
From this we have the following results :
1. If p is odd and two S p of the same family intersect in an S k
where k is even, they intersect in at least an S k+l .
2. If p is odd and two S p of opposite families intersect in an S k
where k is odd, they intersect in at least an S k+1 .
3. If p is even and two S p of the same family intersect in an S k
where k is odd, they intersect in at least an S k+1 .
4. If p is even and two S p of opposite families intersect in an S k
where k is even, they intersect in at least an S k+l .
This may be put into the following theorem, with reference also
to theorem IV:
V. If p is odd, two S^ of the same family do not in general inter
sect, but may intersect in an S k where k is odd; and two S p of opposite
families intersect in general in a point, but may intersect in an S k where
k is even. If p is even, two S p of the same family intersect in general
in a single point, but may intersect in an S k where k is even ; and two
S p of opposite families do not in general intersect, but may intersect in
an S k where k is odd.
If in equations (10) we take Jc=p 1, they reduce to
u i = a n x v u i = x 0* = 2, 3, ., p + 1)
with a n = e = \. Hence we have the theorem :
VI. Through any S p _^ on $ go two S p , one of each family.
More generally the number of independent coefficients in (10) is
known from the theory of determinants to be i* " 
Hence we have the theorem:
VII. Through any S t on $ go QO <p*><i *i> ff of each family.
POINT COORDINATES 407
EXERCISES
1. Show that if S r lies on <f> it must lie in its reciprocal polar space.
From that deduce the condition r ^
2. Prove that there are co 2 S . on < by determining the
number of solutions of equations (2) and (3), remembering that each of
the r f 1 points may be taken arbitrarily on S}..
3 . Show that through every /. lying on <f> there pass oo~2~ c "" 8) ^
which lie on the quadric ( k
nT
168. Stereographic projection of a quadric in S n upon S^. Let $
be a quadric hypersurface of dimensions n 1 in $ u , 2 any hyper
plane in B , so that 2 is an S^_ v and any point 011 (/>. Straight
lines through intersect $ and 2 in general in one point each,
and set up, therefore, a point correspondence of <f> and 2 which
in general is onetoone. There are, however, on both $ and 2
exceptional points. On c/> the point is exceptional, since lines
through and no other point of </> lie in the tangent hyperplane
at 0, the intersection of which, with 2, is an /S^_ 2 which we shall
call TT. Hence corresponds to any point of TT. On 2 the points
in which the straight lines on (j> through intersect 2 are excep
tional, since each of these points corresponds to an entire straight
line on $. These straight lines are the intersections of <f> (/SJ 2 ^)
and the tangent hyperplane (^_ a ) at 0, and therefore intersect
2 (^.0 in an S^ 2) _ B which we shall call H. Evidently H lies in TT.
These statements, which are geometrically evident, may be verified
by the use of coordinates. Let x l : x^:* : x n + l be coordinates of a
point in >S n , and let + ^ . . . + =
be the equation of <. Without loss of generality we may take
as : : : i : 1 and the equation of 2 as x n = 0.
The equations of a straight line through and any point P
of are, then,
pX tl=l = 0+\x n _ v (2)
P X n =t + X* n ,
408 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and OP meets 2 in the point Q, obtained by placing X n = in (2).
This determines X, and the coordinates of Q are found to be
?i : r : fi : : .= *i : x* " : x ni : &,+ z n+1 ,
where f f are coordinates of points in 2, and #. are coordinates of
points on </>. Since x { satisfy equation (1) we may write the
relation between P and its projection Q in the form
.,= ?.... (3)
Equations (3) show that to a definite point P corresponds a
definite point Q, except that the point gives an indeterminate Q
on the locus f B = 0, which is, therefore, the equation of TT in 2.
Also any point Q corresponds to a definite point P, except that
any point in the locus f n = 0, *+ f. 2 2 f + f j f_ 1 = gives an inde
terminate point P, but such that P and Q lie on a straight line
through 0. Therefore
f.= 0, #+++ ,= (4)
are the equations which define the quadric ft. We may note that
any point Q which is on TT but not on ft gives the definite point 0.
Any Si which lies on $ projects into an Sf. on 2. For the
equations ^ = x w +x ^*>+ . . .
become by the transformation (3)
An /S on <^> intersects the tangent hyperplane at in an Sj._ l which
projects into an Sl_ 1 in 2. But all points of the tangent hyper
plane project into points on ft, and therefore this /S^ lies entirely
on ft. Therefore we say :
/. By stereographic projection any linear space S k lying on a quad
ric hypersurface c/> in a space of n dimensions is brought into corre
spondence with a linear space Sj^_ 1 lying on a quadric surface ft in
a space of n 2 dimensions.
This being proved, let us consider the case in which n is an odd
number 2 p + 1. Then < is of dimensions 2 jo, and ft is of dimensions
POINT COORDINATES 409
2p 2. On (f> there exist linear spaces S p which project into linear
spaces of the same number of dimensions, which we call 2 since
they are in 2. Any two 2^ intersect in at least a point, since they
lie in a space of 2jt? dimensions ( 164). If that point of inter
section is not on 12, it corresponds to an intersection of the two S p on
<, since outside of H any point of 2 corresponds to a definite point
of <. If, however, the intersection of two 2^ lies on H, the two
corresponding S p on < do not in general intersect. In fact, the in
tersection of two 2_^ on II simply means that a straight line from
in the tangent hyperplane at meets each of the two correspond
ing S p . Since we are talking of two S p in general, their intersection
in the tangent hyperplane at O may be considered as exceptional,
so that we have the theorem :
//. If two S p on the quadric <f> intersect, the corresponding S p _^ on
the quadric fl do not in general intersect ; and if two S p on <j> do not
intersect, their corresponding Sp_ l on H in general intersect in a point.
In a similar manner the question of the intersections of linear
spaces S p _ 1 on an S_ 2 may be reduced to the question of the inter
section of two S p _ z on an S p _^ and eventually to the intersection
of two S[ on an /S 2) ; that is, of two straight lines on a quadric sur
face in ordinary three space.
We may, accordingly, divide the S p on < into two families, accord
ing as they correspond by this successive projection to the two
families of generators on an ordinary quadric surface. From
theorem II, however, it is evident that we have the same classi
fication as that made algebraically in 167; for it follows that
two S p of the same family do or do not intersect according as p is
even or odd, and two S p of opposite families do or do not intersect
according as p is odd or even. Exceptions may, of course, occur,
as has been shown in 167.
Let us consider now the intersection of </> by any hyperplane
a i x i+ a &+ + a n x n+ + A + i= >
which passes or does not pass through the center of projection 0,
according as ^,~l~ rt n+i is or is not 0. The intersection with </> is
an S1 2 which projects upon 2 into a 2jf! 2 , with the equation
410 JVDIMEKSIONAL GEOMETRY
This is in general a 2^ which contains H, but if ia n + a n+1 = 0,
it splits up into the hyperplane TT and a general hyperplane 7.
Hence the theorem:
If an S1 2 upon c/> does not pass through 0, it projects into a quadric
in 2 which contains H; if an S^ 2 on $ does pass through 0, it projects
into a hyperplane in 2 together with the hyperplane TT.
EXERCISES
1. Show that any tfjj, on < not passing through projects into a 2^
in 2 which intersects TT in a 5jJ,_i contained in O.
2. Show that any 54 _ x not passing through intersects < in an S n 2 l 2
which projects into a 5JL 2 which passes i times through O.
169. Application to line geometry. Since line coordinates con
sist of six homogeneous variables connected by a quadratic rela
tion, a straight line in ordinary space may be considered as a point
on a quadric surface in an S & . We shall proceed to interpret in line
geometry some of the general results we have obtained. In so
doing we shall, to avoid confusion, designate a point, line, and plane
in $ 5 by the symbols /SJ, S(, S! 2 , respectively, reserving the words
"point," "line," and "plane" for the proper configurations in S 3 .
Let <f> be the quadric whose equation is the fundamental relation
connecting the coordinates of a straight line. Then an S r on </> is a
straight line, an S[ on (f> is a pencil of straight lines, and an S 2 on <f>
is either a bundle of lines or a plane of lines. These statements are
established by comparing the analytical conditions for pencils and
bundles of lines given in 131 with those for S( and S 2 on </>.
The two families of S! 2 on <f> are easily distinguished, the one
consisting of lines through a point, the other of lines in a plane.
It is evident that two Si of the same family intersect in an S r Q , for
two bundles of lines or two planes of lines have always one line in
common. On the other hand, a bundle of lines and a plane of
lines do not in general have a line in common ; that is, two S! 2 of
different families do not in general intersect. If, however, a point
of lines and a plane of lines have one line in common, they will
have a pencil in common ; that is, if two Si of different families
on <f> intersect in an /SJ, they intersect in an S[. This is in accord
with theorem V, 167.
POINT COORDINATES 411
A linear line complex is an Sf } formed by the intersection of </>
and an S 4 . If the S 4 is tangent to <, the complex is special and con
sists of oo 2 $( joining the points of the complex to a fixed S . The
special linear complex in line geometry consists, therefore, of oo 2
pencils of lines containing a fixed line.
A linear line congruence consists of an S^ formed by the inter
section of <f> and two iSJ. Therefore it consists in general of lines
each of which belongs to two pencils containing, respectively, one of
two fixed lines. When the two fixed lines intersect, the congru
ence splits up into a bundle of lines and a plane of lines, w r ith a
pencil in common. That suggests the theorem that on $, if the
two fixed SQ connected with a congruence S^ lie on an S[ of <, the
S ( ^ splits up into two S z of different families intersecting in this S[.
A linear series is an $J 2) determined by the intersection of <J> and
three /SJ. From the general theory we see that the series consists
of oo 1 lines, each of which lies in a pencil containing each of oo 1
fixed lines. It therefore consists in general of oo 1 lines intersecting
another oo 1 lines. We leave to the student the task of considering
the special cases of a line series.
A linear complex
+ a H + l X n + l = (1)
is fully determined by the ratios a l : a 2 : : n+1 , which may be
taken as the coordinates of the complex, and we may have a
geometry in which the line complex is the element.
The quantities a x : 2 : : a n + 1 are also the coordinates of a point
in $ 5 , which is the pole of the hyperplane (1). Therefore the
point a i is not on the quadric </> unless the complex is special. An
S Q in S 6 is therefore a line complex. The lines of the complex a {
correspond to the points in which the polar (1) of the point a.
intersects <. If S^ is on c>, the complex is special and may be
replaced by its axis so as not to contradict the previous statement
that an 8[ on < is a straight line. In fact, if the equation of $ is
taken as ^2^ = 0, the coordinates of a special complex and of its
axis are the same.
Consider now two complexes a. and b { as two points S Q in S 6 .
They are said to be in involution if each /SJ lies on the polar plane of
the other. From this it follows at once that if one of the complexes
412 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
is special, its axis is a line of the other ; so that if both are special,
their axes intersect, and conversely. In case neither complex is
special, the S denned by a { and b { are not lines in S B , and we must
look for other geometric properties of complexes in involution.
In S 6 the coordinates a i and b { have a dualistic significance. On
the one hand, they are coordinates of two /SJ ; on the other hand,
they are coordinates of two hyperplanes, the polars of these points.
The two S f determine a pencil of S Q which lie in an S[, and the two
hyperplanes a pencil of hyperplanes which have an $J in common.
The pencil of S f Q contains two S Q on </>, and the pencil of hyperplanes
contains two hyperplanes tangent to (f>. It is then evident that
two complexes are in involution when the two S Q in S b which represent
them are harmonic conjugates with respect to the quadric <, or, what
is the same thing, when the two hyperplanes defining the com
plexes are harmonic conjugates to the two tangent hyperplanes to
<f> which are contained in the pencil defined by the two complexes.
It is clear that in any pencil of complexes the relation between
a complex and its involutory complex is onetoone.
If we consider a fixed complex a f , all complexes in involution to
it are represented by points in an $[, which is the polar hyperplane
of a. with respect to </>.
This relation can be generalized. Let S k be a linear space of
points in $ 6 , and let ^_ t be the conjugate polar space with respect
to </>, so that any point in S f k is the harmonic conjugate with respect
to </> of any point in S^_ k . We have, then, two series of complexes,
each of which is in involution with each one of the other series.
The points in which S k intersect </> are special complexes. Their
axes, therefore, must lie in each of the complexes in Sl_ k j as has
been shown above. In other words, the axes of the special complexes
of one series are the straight lines common to the complexes of the
involutory series, and conversely. The proof of the converse is left
to the student.
For example, consider the pencil of complexes a i + \b. in invo
lution with the series of complexes c^X d^^ e^v f^ The pencil
of complexes have in general a congruence of straight lines in
common, and these are the axes of the special complexes of the
series. On the other hand, the series of complexes have in general
two lines in common which are the axes of the special complexes
POINT COORDINATES 413
of the pencil. Again, consider the bundles of complexes a i
and { +A//h /* #; in involution. The complexes of either bundle
have in common the oo 1 straight lines of a regulus which are the
axes of the special complexes of the other bundle.
Any collineation of S 6 is a transformation of S s by which a
linear line complex goes into a linear line complex, and any linear
series of complexes goes into another such series. If, in addition,
the quadric $ is transformed into itself, straight lines in S 8 are
transformed into straight lines, and any $J on < is transformed
into another S! 2 on <. But as there are two systems of S f 2 on $,
the transformation may transform an S 2 either into one of the same
system or into one of the other system. In the first case, points
in $3 are transformed into points ; in the second case, points in $ 3
are transformed into planes. We have, accordingly, the theorem:
A collineation in $ 5 which leaves the quadric <f> unaltered is either
a collineation or a correlation in S 3 .
EXERCISES
1. Discuss oriented circles in a plane as points on a quadric in S 4 .
2. Discuss oriented spheres in ordinary space as points on a quadric
in S 6 .
170. Metrical space of n dimensions. We have been considering
spaces in which a point is defined by the ratios of homogeneous
variables. We may, however, consider equally well a space in
which the point is defined directly by n coordinates u^ u 2 , , u n ,
and where the equations are not homogeneous. All equations may
be made homogeneous, however, by placing
The discussion is then reduced to the homogeneous case, but
the use of t as the n + \st coordinate emphasizes the unique char
acter of that coordinate. In fact, when t 0, some or all of the
original coordinates become infinite. This enables us to handle
infinite values of the original coordinates. Such sets of values
may be distinguished from each other by the ratios of #,, so that
414 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
is said to define a definite point at infinity. We have, therefore,
a special case of protective space with a unique hyperplane t 0.
We may define a distance in a manner analogous to that used
in three dimensions, by the equation
d* = (u[  uy + <X  ,) 2 ++ nj\ (2)
or, in homogeneous form,
From this it appears that the distance between two points can be
infinite only if t or t r is zero. Conversely, with the exception noted
below, a point for which t = is at an infinite distance from any
point for which t ^ 0. Therefore t = is called the hyperplane at
infinity.
On the hyperplane at infinity the coordinates are projective
coordinates in ^ n1 defined by the ratios x^: x 2 : : x n .
An exception to the statement that points on the hyperplane at
infinity are at an infinite distance from points not on that hyper
plane occurs for points on the locus
*=0, ^ 2 +z 2 2 +... + z n 2 =0, (4)
since the distance of any point on this locus from any other point
is indeterminate. This locus, which is an S*_ 2 , or a quadric hyper
surface in the hyperplane at infinity, is called the absolute.
The following properties of metrical space are such obvious
generalizations of those of threedimensional space that a mere
statement of them is sufficient.
A hypersphere is the locus of points equidistant from a fixed
point. Its equation is
and it is obvious that all hyperspheres contain the absolute, but
no other point at infinity.
A straight line may be defined by the equations
X 1 a l _x 2 a 2 _ _x n a n
~ ~~
This line meets the hyperplane at infinity in the point ^: ? 2 : : l n .
Hence, through any point in space go oo 71 " 1 lines distinguished by
POINT COORDINATES 415
the ratios of the quantities l t . We say that these quantities deter
mine the direction of the line, direction being that property which
distinguishes between straight lines through the same point.
Two lines with the same direction meet the hyperplane at
infinity in the same point and are called parallel. Two lines with
directions 1. and V. meet the hyperplane at infinity in two points
with coordinates l t and ??, and the straight line connecting these
two points meets the absolute in two points such that the cross
ratio of the four points is
We shall define this as the cosine of the angle between the two
lines; namely,
In particular two lines are perpendicular when
yi+yi+ + yi=o.
A line meets the absolute when, and only when,
?+?+ + y=
In that case the distance between any two points on the line is
zero, and the line is a minimum line. Through any point of space
go, then, oo n ~ 2 minimum lines forming a hypercone of oo"" 1 points.
A tangent hyperplane to a hypersphere intersects it in oo n ~ 8 lines,
and since the sphere contains the absolute these are minimum lines.
Any hyperplane
!#!+ a 2 x 2 \  + <* n x n + a n+l t =
meets t = in the locus
!#! + flfyEgH  f a n x n = 0,
which is a hyperplane in the S n _^ defined by t = 0. It is tangent
to the absolute when 2j f=a 0.
Hyperplanes satisfying this condition are minimum hyperplanes ;
all others are ordinary hyperplanes.
The intersection of an ordinary hyperplane with t = has a pole
with respect to the absolute whose coordinates are a x : a. 2 : : a B ,
416 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
and any straight line with the direction a 1 : a 2 :  : a n is said to be
perpendicular to the hyperplane. In fact, from the definition of
perpendicular lines already given, this line is perpendicular to any
line in the hyperplane, and conversely.
Two hyperplanes are perpendicular when the pole of the trace
at infinity of either contains the pole of the trace of the other.
Therefore the condition for two perpendicular hyperplanes is
A +&+ +A=o.
It follows that the n hyperplanes
are mutually perpendicular hyperplanes intersecting at 0. Through
or any point of space pass an infinite number of such mutually
orthogonal hyperplanes ; for, as seen in 165, we may find in t =
an infinite number of coordinate systems such that the absolute
retains the form ^xf = 0, and the lines drawn from to the points
#;= 0, z k = Q (Jc= i) determine the hyperplanes required.
In this way any ordinary hyperplane may be made the plane
x n = 0. The coordinates in this hyperplane are x l : x 2 :   : x n _ l : t,
and its absolute is t = 0, x? + x* +  . + x*^ = 0.
Therefore the geometry in any ordinary hyperplane differs from
that in the original space only in the number of the dimensions.
Two linear spaces, S^ and S^ are said to be completely parallel
if they intersect only at infinity and if the section of S r at infinity
is completely contained in the section of /SJ at infinity (r^r^).
Since the section of /S^ at infinity is an S r _ 15 it is necessary that
S^ and S rz should lie in an $ t + rf _ (Pi _ 1) = S r ^ (theorem IV, 164).
Moreover, if we take r^ points in the S ^ at infinity, one other
point not at infinity in S r , and r z r^l points not at infinity in
$ 2 , we have r 2 + 2 points to determine an $ +r Therefore,
If two linear spaces S^ and ^( r i^ r O are completely parallel, they
lie in an S r ^ +l and completely determine it.
Consider now two spaces, ^ and $ (r ^ r r ), which do not in
tersect (TJ+ r 2 < n). They determine in the hyperplane at infinity
two nonintersecting spaces, S^ and $ r If we take ^ points in
^ 4 ii an( i r 2 points in S r ^_ v we determine, by means of these points,
an ^i+  2  1 in tlie ^yperplaue at infinity which contains both S f r _ 1
POINT COORDINATES 417
and S r<t _ r By means of this , +r _ 1 and one other point in S r not
at infinity, we determine an fij! +r which contains S r because it
contains ^ + 1 of its points, and is parallel to S r since the inter
section with infinity of S r r is completely contained in that of S r +r .
Hence,
If S f r and /SJ are two nonintersecting linear spaces with r l = r 2 , it
is possible to pass a linear space S, + through S r parallel to S . /
It is obviously possible to define as partially parallel two linear
spaces which intersect at infinity and nowhere else. This would
lead to a series of theorems of which those in 158 are examples,
but we shall not pursue this line of investigation.
Two linear spaces will be defined as completely perpendicular
when each straight line in one is perpendicular to each straight
line of the other. If $ and <SJ are two linear spaces intersecting
the hyperplane at infinity in S . _ 1 and S f r _ v respectively, it follows
that the necessary and sufficient condition that S r should be com
pletely perpendicular to /S^ is that _ l should lie in the conjugate
polar space of S,^ with respect to the absolute, when, of course,
$ 2 _i will also lie in the conjugate polar space of S r _ x with respect
to the absolute.
Now the conjugate polar space of S f r in S n _ l (the hyperplane at
infinity) is, by 165, /^.^.j. If ^ is given, its intercept on the
plane at infinity <SJ j is determined, and the reciprocal polar space
$, _ ri _i is also uniquely determined. One other point in finite
space then determines with this S n _ .^ an S^_^ which is completely
perpendicular to the given S .. Hence the theorem.
Through any point in space one and only one S n _ r can be passed
which is completely perpendicular to a given S r . Any linear space
contained in S n _ r is then completely perpendicular to any linear space
in S f r .
It is possible to define as partially perpendicular, spaces each
of which contains a straight line perpendicular to the other, as in
166, but we shall not do this.
Let us consider the stereographic projection of a hypersphere upon
a hyperplane. Here we have merely to use the results of 168,
interpreting the quadric (f> as a hypersphere, and the plane # n+1 =
418 ^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
as the hyperplane at infinity in S n . Then TT is the hyperplane at
infinity in S n _ v and n is the absolute. We have at once the theorem :
By the stereographic projection of a hypersphere in S n upon a
hyperplane S n _ v hyperplanar sections of $ go into hyperplanes or
hyper spheres of S n _ l according as the hyperplanar sections of <f> do or
do not contain the center of projection.
A collineation in S n by which </> is invariant gives a point trans
formation on (f> by which hyperplanar sections go into hyperplanes.
There is a corresponding transformation in S n _ l by which a hyper
plane or a hypersphere goes into either a hyperplane or a hypersphere.
If the collineation in S n leaves as well as <j> invariant, hyper
planes of S n _ l are transformed into hyperplanes, and the transfor
mation is a collineation. But the transformation in S n leaves the
tangent hyperplane at unchanged, and therefore the correspond
ing transformation in S n _ l leaves the absolute unchanged. Hence,
Collineations in S n which leave <j) and the point on <f> unchanged
determine collineations in S n _ l which leave the absolute unchanged and
which are therefore metrical transformations.
Collineations in S n which leave </> but not unchanged determine
point transformations in S n _ l by which hyperspheres go into hyper
spheres, a hyperplane being considered a special case of a hypersphere.
We have used in 168 one set of coordinates (#,) for the points
of <, and another set (f.) for the points of S n _ v but clearly the
coordinates x { may also be used to determine points in S n _ r
We shall have, then, for the points of S n _ l n + l homogeneous
coordinates connected by a quadratic relation, and such that a
linear equation between them represents a hypersphere with the
hyperplane as a special case. Each of the coordinates x i equated
to zero represents a hypersphere. We may, accordingly, call them
(n j1) poly spherical coordinates of the points of S H _ r They are a
generalization of the pentaspherical coordinates of S & . We say:
Protective coordinates of points on a hypersphere in S n are poly
spherical coordinates of points on an S n _ l into which the hypersphere
is stereographically projected. Collineations of 8 H which leave the
hypersphere invariant are linear transformations of the polyspherical
coordinates o $_
POINT COORDINATES 419
171. Minimum projection of S n upon S n _ 1 . Consider in S H , with
nonhomogeneous metrical coordinates, the minimum hypercone
(*. >) 2 + (*, 2 ) 2 + .+(* <O 2 = o. (i)
The section of this by the hyperplane x n = is
(*, !) +(*,,) + +.CUl n.) 2 + S = 0. (2)
which is a hypersphere in the fl n _ l defined by x n = 0. We say that
the vertex a i of the minimum hypercone (1) in S n is projected min
imally into the hypersphere (2) in S n _ lf Obviously, in order that
the hypersphere (2) should be real the vertex of (1) must be imag
inary. More exactly the coefficients 1? 2 , , a n _ l must be real and
a n pure imaginary.
The coordinates of the vertex of a hypercone in S n are then
essentially elementary coordinates ( 146) of a hypersphere in S n _ v
but the radius of the sphere is ia n instead of a n . Let us, however,
introduce into S n polyspherical coordinates based upon n + 2 hyper
spheres. The coordinates of the vertex of a hypercone in S n and,
consequently, of a hypersphere in /S r n _ 1 are then n + 2 homogeneous
coordinates connected by a quadratic relation. They are therefore
higher sphere coordinates of oriented hyperspheres in >S n _ l . But
we have seen that the polyspherical coordinates in S n are projec
tive coordinates of points on a hypersphere in S H+l . We have,
therefore :
The protective coordinates of a point on a hypersphere in S n+l
become, by stereographic projection, the n + 2 polyspherical coordinates
of a point in S n , and, by further minimum projection, the higher sphere
coordinates of a hypersphere in S n _ r
We have in this way obtained a geometric construction by which,
for example, oriented spheres in S 3 may be brought into a one
toone relation with points on a hypersphere in S 6 .
EXERCISES
1. Show analytically that a point x 1 : x. 2 : >:x n+1 on the hyper
sphere x} + xl 4 + aJ + 1 = in S n projects by the double projection
of the text into the hypersphere (ix n + x n + l ) (? \ h J_ 2 )  2 a^,
2z__+w?x= in 2_.
420
^DIMENSIONAL GEOMETRY
2. Establish the following relations between 5 fi , S 4 , and S 8 , <f> being
a hypersphere in S : .
A point on <.
A hyperplane sec
tion of <.
A section of <f> by a
tangent hyperplane.
A minimum line
on <.
A minimum plane
on <.
A section of <j> by
any SJ.
A minimum curve
on <.
A point.
A sphere.
A point sphere.
A minimum line.
A minimum plane
of second kind.
A hypersurface of
order y.
A minimum curve.
A sphere.
A sphere complex.
A special sphere
complex.
A pencil of tangent
spheres.
A bundle of tan
gent spheres.
A sphere complex
of order g.
A series of oo 1
spheres, each of which
is tangent to the con
secutive one.
REFERENCES
Sphere geometry :
COOLIDGE, Line and Sphere Geometry (see reference at end of Part III).
Line geometry :
HUDSON, Rummer s Quadric Surface. Cambridge University Press.
JESSOP, Treatise on the Line Complex. Cambridge University Press.
KCENIGS, La ge ome trie re gle e et ses applications. GauthierVillars.
FLU CUE R, Neue Geometric des Raumes. Teubner.
Pliicker s work is the original authority. It is quoted here for its historical
value. The student will probably find it more convenient to consult the other
texts, the scope of which is sufficiently indicated by their titles.
Geometry of n dimensions :
JOUFFRET, Ge ome trie a quatre dimensions. GauthierVillars.
VMANNING, Geometry of Four Dimensions. The Macmillan Company.
<
Manning s book is synthetic/ Jouffret s analytic. Especial mention should be
made of the historical account in Manning s introduction, with copious references
to the literature.
For general ndimensional geometry reference will be made to the following
journal articles, which the author has found especially useful in preparing his text :
KLEIN, ff Ueber Liniengeometrie und metrische Geometric." Mathematische
Annalen, Vol. V, 1872.
SEGRE, " Studio sulle quadriche in uno spazio lineare ad un numero qualunque
di dimension!. " Memorie della reale accadernia delle scienze di Torino.
Second Series, Vol. XXXVI, 1885.
VERONESE, " Behandlung der projectivischen Verhaltnisse der Raiime von ver
schiedenen Dimensionen durch das Princip des Projicirens und Schneidens."
Mathematische Annalen, Vol. XIX, 1882.
INDEX
(The numbers refer to pages)
Absolute, 370
Affine transformation, 102
Angle, 105, 107, 188, 254, 369, 415;
between circles, 144 ; between spheres,
286, 344 ; of parallelism, 112
Asymptotes, 33
Asymptotic lines, 361
Axis, of range, 8 ; of pencil of planes,
12; of quadric, 230; of special line
complex, 311 ; of any complex, 318
Base of range, 8
Bicircular curve, 174, 281
Brianchon s theorem, 76
Bundle, of planes, 196, 198 ; of spheres,
268, 293, 342; of lines, 306; of tan
gent spheres, 351
Center, of conic, 32 ; of quadric, 224, 227
Characteristic of surface, 211
Circle, 30; at infinity, 181
Circle coordinates, 171, 177
Circle points at infinity, 30, 105
Clairaut s equation, 137
Class, of curve, 55 ; of surface, 207 ; of
line complex and congruence, 308
Clifford parallels, 255
Collineations, 72, 240, 250, 413
Complex, of circles, 149, 172, 173, 179 ; of
spheres, 269,293,341,346, 353 ; of lines,
308, 310, 316, 317, 328: cosingular,
332 ; tetrahedral, 333 ; tangent, 353
Conformal transformation, 126
Congruence, of circles, 172, 179; of lines,
308, 322, 335, 336; normal line, 338;
of spheres, 348
Conies, 32 ; pairs of, 95
Conjugate points and spaces in n dimen
sions, 393
Conjugate polar lines, of a line complex,
314 ; of a quadric, 223
Conjugates, harmonic, 18
Contact transformations, 120, 258
Coordinates, 1, 3 ; point, 8, 27, 34, 138,
164, 180, 193, 282, 288, 362, 388 ; line,
11, 38, 301, 305, 410; plane, 12, 197;
circle, 171, 177; sphere, 341, 343
Correlation, 88, 246
Cosines, direction, 191, 377
Cross ratio, 16
Curvature, lines of, 338
Curve, 50, 58, 200
Cuspidal edge, 212
Cyclic, 174
Cyclide, Dupin s, 274, 350 ; general, 279,
297
Cylindroid, 323
Deferent, 299
Degree of space in n dimensions, 390
Desargues, theorem of, 45
Developable surface, 208, 214
Diameter; of parabola, 67 ; of line com
plex, 318
Diameters, conjugate, of conic, 64; con
jugate, of quadric, 224
Diametral plane, 224, 230
Dilation, 136
Direction, 188 ; in four dimensions, 368 ;
in n dimensions, 415
Distance, 29, 139, 283, 290 ; projective,
108, 111, 115, 117, 254, 255; in four
dimensions, 368 ; in n dimensions,
414
Double circle of complex, 174
Double pair of correlation, 90, 247
Duality, 2 ; point and line in plane, 40,
56; tetracyclical plane and quadric
surface, 161, 163, 250; point and
plane, 199 ; line and sphere, 357 ; line
in three dimensions and point in four,
384, 410
421
422
INDEX
Ellipsoid, 228
Elliptic space, 115, 255
Focal curve, 300
Focal points of line congruence, 336, 338
Foci of conic, 65
Form, algebraic, 140
Generators of quadric, 232, 326
Groups, 6
Hexaspherical coordinates, 386
Homology, 85 ; axis of, 49, 76 ; center
of, 49, 76
Hori cycle, 114
Hyperbolic space, 110, 254
Hyperboloid, 228
Hyperplane, 362, 369; at infinity, 368,
414 ; polar, 383
Hypersphere, 370, 385\ 413
Hypersurface of second order, 382, 392
Hypocycle, 114
Imaginary element, 2
Imaginary line, 184, 191
Imaginary plane, 187
Infinity, 3 ; locus at, 8, 28, 139, 142, 165,
186, 284, 368, 414
Invariant, 7
Inversion, 121, 124, 156, 261, 270, 291
Involution, 15; of line complexes, 327,
411 ; of sphere complexes, 347
Klein coordinates, 306
Rummer s surface, 332
Line, equations of, 27, 35, 195, 197, 362,
388 ; at infinity, 28 ; proper and im
proper, 183; completely and incom
pletely imaginary, 191
Line coordinates, 10, 38, 301
Line element, 133
Lobachevskian geometry, 112
Magnification, 104
Minimum curves, 192
Minimum hyperplanes, 378
Minimum lines, 184* 189, 378
Minimum planes, 188, 190, 285, 378
wline and npoint, 44
NonEuclidean geometry, 112
Null sphere, 182
Null system, 248, 321
Order, of plane curve, 53; of surface,
205, 220 ; of line complex, congruence,
and series, 308
Orientation of spheres, 344
Orthogonal circles, 145, 172, 178
Orthogonal spheres, 267, 286, 341
Osculating plane, 202
Pappus, theorem of, 48
Parabolic space, 117, 255
Paraboloid, 229
Parallelism, 28, 112, 187, 370, 416; com
plete and simple, 371 ; Clifford, 255
Pascal s theorem, 75
Pedal transformation, 131
Pencil, of points, 8; of lines, 11, 37, 39,
306; of planes, 12, 196; of conies, 64;
of circles, 146 ; of spheres, 266, 293,
342 ; of tangent spheres, 350
Perpendicularity, 111, 190, 416; com
plete perpendicularity and semiper
pendicularity, 375
Perspectivity, 21
Plane, 185, 197, 285, 362; at infinity,
186; of lines, 307
Plane coordinates, 197
Plane element, 259
Planes, completely and simply parallel,
371; completely perpendicular and
semiperpendicular, 375
Pliicker coordinates, 301
Pliicker s complex surface, 334
Point, equation of, 39, 197
Pointcurve transformation, 127, 263, 361
Pointpoint transformation, 120, 260
Point sphere, 182, 185, 285
Pointsurface transformation, 262
Polar, with respect to point pair, 20;
with respect to curve of second order,
59; with respect to curve of second
class, 70; in general, 140; with re
spect to surface of second order, 222 ;
with respect to surface of second
class, 238 ; with respect to linear line
INDEX
423
complex, 315; with respect to quad
ratic line complex, 328 ; with respect
to hypersurface, 383, 393
Polar lines, conjugate, 223, 314
Polar spaces, conjugate, 393
Power of point, with respect to circle,
150; with respect to sphere, 287
Projection, 20; stereographic, 162, 407,
418 ; minimum, 419
Projective geometry, in plane, 101 ; in
three dimensions, 249; on quadric sur
face, 250 ; in n dimensions, 388
Projective measurement, 107, 253
Projectivity, 13, 20
Pseudo circle, 113
Quadrangle, complete, 44
Quadrilateral, complete, 44
rflat, 388
Radical axis, 268
Radical center, 269
Radical plane, 267
Range, of points, 8 ; of conies, 71
Ratio, anharmonic, 17; cross, 16; har
monic, 18
Reflection, 104
Regulus, 326
Relativity, 119
Riemannian geometry, 116
Ring surface, 275
Rotation, 103
Rulings on quadric, 232
Series, line, 308, 324 ; sphere, 349
Sheaf of planes, 12
Singular complex of circles, 174
Singular lines, 54, 67, 329
Singular planes, 216, 222, 329
Singular points, 52, 58, 206, 296, 329, 383
Space, linear, 388 ; on quadric, 401
Specialized quadric, 395
Sphere, 266, 284 ; oriented, 344
Sphere coordinates, 341
Spherical geometry, 116
Spheroquadric, 281
Surface, in point coordinates, 205; in
plane coordinates, 215 ; anallagmatic,
274, 299; singular, 331, 355; Rum
mer s, 332 ; Pliicker s, 334
Tangent circles, 178, 295
Tangent hyperplanes, 383
Tangent line, to curve, 51, 200; to sur
face, 205
Tangent line complexes, 328
Tangent plane to surface, 206
Tangent planes, 345
Tangent sphere complexes, 353
Tangent spheres, 295, 345, 350
Tetracyclical coordinates, 138
Thread, 25, 142
Transform of an operation, 5
Transformation, defined, 4 ; affine, 102 ;
contact, 120, 258 ; inversion, 124, 156,
261, 270, 291; linear, 13, 78, 88, 154,
169, 240, 246, 291; metrical, 101, 155,
249, 291 ; projective, 20, 100, 249, 253 ;
pedal, 131; pointpoint, 120, 260;
pointcurve, 127, 263 ; pointsurface,
262 ; quadric inversion, 121 ; recipro
cal radius, 124, 261, 270
Translation, 103
Union of line elements, 134; of plane
elements, 260
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